Thanks for joining us for our live coverage of the first game of season nine of the A-League. Nine, wow. We've come a long way since the heady days of that first season when new converts to the beautiful game would boo players for passing the ball anywhere but goalwards. Onwards and upwards.
Good luck to the Socceroos in the morning. Will it be Holger Osieck's last game in charge? It may well be if we get another pantsing in France like that men v boys effort in Brazil. Log on for our live coverage with Alex Rowe from 5.30am.
There were a couple of late flurries from the Jets to no avail. Sydney's defence looks solid unlike last year but they're still a work in progress.
The Jets have a lot of work to do to improve on last season when they finished with a late spurt but failed to make the finals.
Early days but a promising start for an understrength Sydney FC side missing several players.
93 min: It's all over with Del Piero on the ground for a change but still on top, and man of the match.
90 min: Jets look for a late goal to make it interesting but the Sydney defence are all over every cross that comes in. The they win a free kick and Row Zadkovich hits the bar with a great strike and Neville fluffs the follow-up. Story of their night.
Naumoff on for Chianese for Sydney.
87 min: Burns' cross goes way long and then Zadkovich just lashes one from nowhere that goes nowhere. Frustrating night for the Jets.
Del Piero tackled from behind as Carle broke away but no foul given.
Replays show the officials got the no goal decision dead right as Chianese came back from an offside. Could have easily been missed but won't decide the outcome of this game regardless.
Good start to the season by the men in black. Keep it up please!
85 min: Speedy Mitch Mallia on for Garcia, unlucky not to have a debut goal for Sydney FC. Sydney 2-0
83 min: GOAL!? But no - offside. Amazing triple save by Birighitti is eventually put away by Garcia but Chianese caught offside when the keeper palmed it against the post. Unlucky. Crazy stuff but incredible keeping. Sydney 2-0
82 min: Sydney win a corner. Del Piero hits it deep to the back post but Birighitti is there to clean up.
Connor Chapman on for the Jets. Sydney 2-0
78 min: Jets attack through Brilliante, who sends in a dangerous cross. It's cleared and Neville cleans up the loose ball and goes on a run but is brought down on the edge of the area. Looked like a dive. Brown curls the free kick over the wall and the bar. Sydney 2-0
76 min: Chianese strays just offside after a lovely chip over the top by Del Piero. Would have been a goal-scoring opportunity but for a mistimed run. They're quite the double act tonight. Sydney 2-0
74 min: Free kick to Sydney for a foul wide left outside the box. Del Piero hits a curler but Birighitti is able to claim it under no pressure. Sydney 2-0
72 min: Abbas has a shot blocked and wins a corner after good build-up by Chianese. The corner goes short and they win another. It goes short and Del Piero is able to stroll in and have a shot but it's blocked. Perhaps he had too much time. Sydney 2-0
70 min: Del Piero gives away a foul on Gallway deep in the corner, much to his dismay, and the Jets have a free kick. Zadkovich steps but it falls to no one, giving Sydney an easy clearance and chance tio counter. Sydney 2-0
67 min: Warren fouls Burns right on the edge of the box and the Jets have a free kick but a bit close. Goodwin hits it loow and hard around the wall but easy take for Janjetovic in the Sydney goal.
Rhyan Grant on for Matt Thompson. Sydney 2-0
65 min: The Jets bring on Josh Brillante and James Brown for Caravella (on a card) and the impressive Virgili who has run himself out. Sydney 2-0
63 min: Taggart, who has been quiet, almost replies immedately for the Jets but his shot just flies over. Sydney 2-0
Great finish, smashed high into the net by Joel Chianese after finding space on the right. No more than he deserves after a man of the match perfoemance so far, with respect to Del Piero.
60 min: GOAL SYDNEY! Chinese set up by Del Piero and smashes it home. 2-0
55 min: Bojic lets fly from long range with a low rocket but it flies wide after nice lead-up work by Chianese and Del Piero - there he is -and on the deck yet again. He'll be sore tomorrow. Sydney 1-0
54 min: The Sydney crowd is getting restless as Chianese goes on a solo run down the flank but is crowded out. Not much sign of ADP so far this half but maybe that's the plan the Eggman hatched at half-time. Sydney 1-0
52 min: Bojic gallops down the flanks and tries a Samoan sidestep on Jaliens, who is from Holland if your were wondering. Bit sluggish and leggy on both sides so far this half. Sydney 1-0
50 min: Burns chips a little ball over the defence for Virgili but he just can't get a toe to it. Close call for Sydney. Sydney 1-0
45 min: Sydney kick off and the Jets mount an attack but it breaks fdown into midfield ping pong. Zadkovich cleans up Del Piero for foul No 10 by the Jets, almost all against that one man. Sydney 1-0
First half recap: Amazing goal by Del Piero, more so given he has looked out of touch for much of this half. But his class and close control were there when he and Sydney needed it most as he profited by two defenders colliding, but still had to beat one of them twice, nutmegging him in the end and toe-poking it across goal into the far side netting as he fell under tackles from not one but two defenders. In all he beat about five defenders (some twice) on that mazy run and then the keeper from close range in a crowd. Look out when he's match fit and firing.
Then the Italian nearly had a second from long range but Matt Thompson's crossbar rattler that rebounded off keeper Birighitti was desperately unlucky not to go in.
Newcastle have impressed, particularly Virgili and Gallaway, and were on top for fair chunks of that half. Expect more from them after the break. Sydney won't have it all their own way in the second half if Jets coach Gary van Egmond has anything to do with it.
Goal! Alessandro Del Piero scores Sydney FC's opener. Photo: Anthony Johnson
46 min: Half-time. Sydney worked their way into the game after the Jets huffed and puffed down the flanks but had little penetration, partticularly from their set pieces. Chianese and Del Piero have been Sydney's best with honourable mentions for Bojic and Garcia. We haven't seen much of Garcia, as he was a bit starved of ball up front for much of that half, but what we have seen looks good. Sydney 1-0
44 min: Del Piero shaves the crossbar with a cracking dipping strike from outside the box after finding himself in space when the Jets backed off. Trademark strike from the Italian. Sydney 1-0
43 min: Sydney string plenty of passes together around the Jets box with Garcia showing alovely turn but the switch to Del Piero goes long. Encouraging signs for Sydney, buoyed by the goal. Sydney 1-0
39 min: ADP cleaned up again by Jaliens after attempting a Rivelino spin in a crowd. Looked nasty but he's OK. That must be nearing double figures for fouls on the Sydney skipper. Sydney 1-0
It was almost comical as two Jets defenders tackled each and gave the little maestro a sniff in the box, which was all he needed. He wriggled this way and that, inside and out, then struck it home across a crowded box and the keeper for our first goal of the season. Welcome back Ale!
35th minute: As predicted Caravella gets the season's first yellow card for a foul on Garcia after the umpteenth foul on ADP was waved away, strangely. 0-0
32 min: Bojic and Chianese linking well down the right for Sydney but the last ball just lacks the requisite weight at this stage. Both defences are mashalling well and snapping up anything loose near the box. 0-0
30 min: A goal would break this game open and may not be far off. The Jets keep looking to Virgili on the right and he has pace to burn. 0-0
27 min: Last minute injury signing Matt Thompson for Sydney smacks one against the bar and off the Jets keeper's back but somehow it stays out. What a debut goal that would have been.
Then a couple of games of pinball in the box but the Jets manage to clear.
Sydney FC are starting to string together some attacks.
Del Piero is attacked by (J)aliens but seems OK. 0-0
22 min: Gallaway steams on to a peach of a crossfield ball and lays on a low crossfor Virgili but it's cut off.
Then Gallaway finds himself almost one on one with the keeper but Chianese pulls off a great tackle then finds himself one on one with Birighitti at the other end only for a heavy touch to let the keeper clear. ADP the provider of course.
Both teams look a little ring rusty but the game is opening up. 0-0
20 min: A Sydney free kick ends up in Jets counter attack through Caravella who is battling hard in midfield, and pushing for a yellow. Virgili is handful in his raids down the right. 0-0
18 min: Corner to the Jets. A big looper from Gallaway deep to Neville again but he heads well wide under pressure from Bojic. The corners are racking up for the Jets. 0-0
16 min: Corner to Sydney after ADP loses the ball in the box then does well to keep it in. Row Zadkovick heads the corner away. The Italian looks short a yard of pace and touch, I hate to say, but early days. 0-0
14 min: Bokic tries an ambitious banana from outside the box, seizing on a loose ball outside the box but it flies well over. Sydney's first shot in anger 14 minutes in. 0-0
12 min: Corner to the Jets as Virgili does a dance in the box and forces a deflection behind off the Sydney defence. Promising run from the new boy. Neville heads over but they get another corner. Neville handballs accidentally. The ball dropped to him at the back stick but he couldn't control. 0-0
10 min: Strange to see Pedj the wedge Bojic in a Sydney shirt. Looks like he'll be busy at right back for Sydney. The Jets are knocking it around nicely. Abbas is busy for Sydney in midfield, providing a foil for his new skipper. 0-0
7 min: Del Piero gets cleaned up by Zadkovich, not for the first time tonight you'd think. All roads, or balls, lead to ADP for Sydney so far, and why not, in his distinctive twinkling black boots, kicking it old school.
Abbas has our first shot of the season but doesn't connect well and Birighitti laps it up. 0-0
4 min: Nicky Carle barges over Nathan Burns for our first foul of the season. Well done Nicky. A cross comes in but the Sydney keeper gobbles it up. Jets are working their way into some decent positions down the left. 0-0
3 min: A ripple around the stadium as Del Piero gets on the ball and sets up an attack. They get it in the box but the Italian gets a bobble and loses possession and the move breaks down. 0-0
1 min: The Jets kick-off but Sydney quickly gain and hold possession stroking it around in their own half to settle into the game. Burns puts Sydney under pressure but they get a goal kick and get it straight back. Cagey start. 0-0
Here they come, the Jets in an unusual green away strip. Green is regarded as one of the hardest cololurs to pick up on the football field, or so scientists say. White is the easiest. They have white shorts at least. Not long now.
Sydney FC: Brett EMERTON, Terry MCFLYNN, Peter TRIANTIS, Terry ANTONIS, Pascal BOSSCHAART, Corey GAMEIRO, Yairo YAU (international duty),
Newcastle Jets: Emile HESKEY, Joey GIBBS, Michael BRIDGES, Mitch COOPER
Newcastle Jets Squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK), 2. Scott NEVILLE, 4. Kew JALIENS, 6. Zenon CARAVELLA, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 10. Nathan BURNS, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 12. Connor CHAPMAN, 15. Josh BRILLANTE, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 17. James VIRGILI 18. James BROWN, 20. Ben KENNEDY (GK), 21. Sam GALLAWAY, 22. Adam TAGGART
Sydney FC squad: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (GK), 2. Seb RYALL, 3. Mark WARREN, 5. Matt JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 8. Predrag BOJIC, 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO, 11. Richard GARCIA, 13. Tiago CALVANO, 14. Mitchell MALLIA, 16. Joel CHIANESE, 19. Nicky CARLE, 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 22. Ali ABBAS, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 24. Hagi GLIGOR, 27. Chris NAUMOFF. *one to be omitted
Sydney with Alessandro Del Piero as captain - but missing Brett Emerton among others - are favourites tonight as they seek to continue their dominance over Newcastle, who are without English forwards Emile Heskey and Michael Bridges.
Head-to-head: Played 26: Wins: Sydney 13, Newcastle 6, Draws: 7