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A-League

  • 11 October 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Allianz Stadium, Sydney
  • Referee: J. Gillett
  • • Attendance: 20103
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Sydney FC 2-0 Newcastle Jets: Del Piero stars in Sky Blues win

A brilliant goal from Alessandro Del Piero helped the Sky Blues past Gary van Egmond's men in the opening game of the new season.

Alessandro Del Piero has picked up where he left off last campaign, inspiring Sydney FC to a comfortable 2-0 season-opening win over Newcastle on Friday night at Allianz Stadium.

Del Piero's class lit up an often dour contest and he proved the difference in the end, sending the home side on their way to victory with an opportunistic first-half opener.

The veteran Italian then set up Joel Chianese's strike 15 minutes after the break to seal a well-deserved three points in front of more than 20,000 fans.

While it won't go down as one of the Sky Blues' prettiest wins, it will come as a huge relief for coach Frank Farina after a less-than-encouraging run of results in the pre-season.

Jets midfielder Zenon Caravella had an unhappy night, figuring in both of Sydney's goals, before he was hooked by coach Gary van Egmond midway through the second half.

It was a typically cagey start from both sides in their first competitive match of the season, with little in the way of goalmouth action in the first 20 minutes.

But midway through the half there was almost a goal at either end in the space of a minute, with Chianese heavily involved in both chances.

First the Sydney attacker showed superb awareness to track Sam Galloway into the box and getting a crucial tackle in just before the Jets defender got his shot away.

Then in the blink of an eye the Sky Blues produced a sweeping move down the other end which should have resulted in the opener.

Ali Abbas got free down the left and linked with Del Piero, with the Italian then feeding Chianese into the box but his first touch was too heavy allowing Mark Birighitti to come out and smother his shot.

Matt Thompson went even closer for the home side soon after when he unleashed a dipping volley from 25 metres that rattled the crossbar before bouncing back and hitting Birighitti in the back and somehow bouncing away from danger.

It signalled a period of dominance for the Sky Blues with Del Piero's brilliance breaking the deadlock nine minutes before the break, although he was helped by some shoddy defending.

Receiving the ball just inside the Jets half, Del Piero ran at a retreating defence and into the box before it appeared the move broke down as Connor Chapman won the ball.

But the young defender got in a tangle with team-mate Caravella, gifting the ball back to Sydney's marquee man.

And it proved a deadly mistake as Del Piero twisted and turned his way past a couple more defenders before poking a shot just inside Birighitti's far post.

The 38-year-old then turned provider 15 minutes after the break, dispossessing Caravella just inside the Jets' half before bearing down on goal.

He summed up the situation perfectly before teeing up Chianese, who, this time, mastered his first touch before firing into the roof of the net.

The Jets tried hard to force their way back into the contest but rarely troubled the Sydney defence apart from a couple of free-kicks from just outside the area.

It could have been even better for the home side but Richard Garcia's would-be debut goal was chalked off for offside.

However, it mattered little as the Sky Blues made a perfect start to the new season.

Crowd: 20,103 @ Allianz Stadium

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