Heskey headed the ball back into the box and Griffiths took a lash that had Birighitti beaten. McFlynn very obviously sticks out an elbow. He had been having a good game until that point. Instead, ADP picks up three points in the Alex Tobin award. Great vision for Powell's goal and the numerous fouls on him reflect his heavy involvment in the game. Age has not wearied Alessandro's desire. Stay tuned for the Melbourne derby.
That's it. Full-time. Sydney a little unlucky in the end. Ryan Griffiths says of his penalties: "I tried to keep my wits about me in a pressure situation right at the end." He laments the mistakes that lead to the Sky Blues' two goals but reckons the first-half penalty was legitimate. Don't ask Zeljko about that. Back to the equalising penalty in a moment.
Sydney content just to see this through. The Jets with all the momentum and Gary van Egmon gesticulating madly on the sideline. Griffiths cross looks for Heskey but it's too high and Janjetovic takes.
Jets surging foward now against 10 men. Four mins added time. Heskey gets front position and volleys a lofted Virgili pass on the right. He earns a corner and forces a good save but Goodwin's delivery beats everyone and it's a throw-in to Sydney
Right call. McFlynn had his arm extended. He reached for it. Griffiths again takes the spot kick beautifully. Same as first half. Drills it into the corner despite Janjetovic guessing the right way.
Del Piero corner is cleared by Hoole and the Jets fans really gave it to ADP as he lines up the set piece. Great corner at the other end by Goodwin and Grant did very well to head clear. And it's another corner. The Jet's 10th for the match.
Ryall can't get over the top of the ball from a superbly delivered Del Piero corner and bounces it into the ground and over the bar. Heskey gets in behind the defence! About time. They've had 33 balls into the box and no result. But none this time either as Ryall just sees off the ball as arrives late into the box.
Ryan Griffiths pointing to the name on his back and telling the ref and linesman and anyone who will listen: "I'm not Del Piero. I'm not Del Piero." In other words, if he was an Italian marquee he would have got the foul.
Caravella on for Brillante; Virgili on for Neville. Caravella immediately clips Del Piero's ankle/Achilles in a cynical tackle. That's foul number 128. Antonis had all the time in the world earlier, inside the box and under no pressure, but failed to shoot. Took too many touches.
McFlynn back on. Sydney playing with plenty of industry if not finesse. And with six men gone from the staring line-up Farina will be happy with that. Oh dear. Antonis butchers a chance!
Birighitti comes way out of his box to clear a through ball for Powell after Bridges undid his good work in surging forward with a telegraphed pass. McFlynn, who seems to really thrive in these types of games, is down with a knee or ankle complaint off a Bridges tackle. He gets treatment on the sideline. Sydney a man down for the time being as Antonis finds some space on the right and Hoole does well with a last-ditch tackle.
Antonis struggling to impose himself on the game as Sydney's tyro back line toils away gamely. Sydney string a few passes together as they seek sustained possession to stave off the Jets.
Abbas looks a bit silly watching the ball float over his head at the far post from a Del Piero cross on the right. He failed to attack the ball and it looked like opportunity lost.
Bridges inside the box but he's outnumbered by a swarm of Sydney players. Not pretty but effective. Del Piero gets his 54th foul of the game. Opponents might argue all you have to do is breath heavily to bring down the Italian. Not so in the next stretch. Goodwin out-muscles Del Piero down the flank and no whistle. Janjetovic comes out full of authority to claim a Zadkovich free kick. He dropped it though and had to take it on the second attempt.
Birighitti's goal kick almost goes the length of the field, the wind pushing it forward an extra 20 metres. That fleeting sun flattered to deceive. It's back to being awful now. Replays showing that Powell was onside for the goal after Abbas shot from right on the edge of the penalty box. Hoole with a heavy first touch from a Birighitti corner. The ball comes steepling in from the other side and now Janjetovic takes out Sherlock as he collects. More friendly fire.
Del Piero calmly took the ball forward into open space off Zadkovich's mistake and swept it left for Abbas on the fly. The Iraqi shoots and Powell, following through on the right, bangs in the rebound off Birighitti's save. Sydney in the lead off two Jets' mistakes. Mark Bridges on for the Jets.
Goodwin cuts inside Antonis and the Sydney man brings him down in an ungainly concession to being outplayed. Yellow card to Antonis and now there's a handful of Sky Blues in the book.
Sydney get just their second corner, compared to the Jets' six. Del Piero's set piece cleared by Griffiths, and the ball falls for Antonis, whose cross is decent but Birighitti clears. Foul by Mitchell as Del Piero backs into him. He's clipped the free kick forward for Grant, who heads the ball back for a sharp header by Abass. Good save by Birighitti, who's called into action off the subsequent corner, getting his fingertips to a drive.
Poor defending from Sherlock; running the ball across the line when a bit more composure would have seen him at least clear the ball down the line. Zadkovich's corner cut out by Ryall. Hoole gets around Antonis and the ball is cut back to no avail. The Jets' woe around and in the box continues.
The sun is out on the far side of the ground. The capricious weather gods having their say, but not quite as vociferously as Kalac, it would seem. Sydney lose their bearings straight away, losing possession and failing to measure the pass against the gale.
Second half yet to get underway but already action. Kalac has been sent from the sideline! He's done an Arnie.
The Jets told they were sloppy in the front third and asked to be more creative than lumping the ball forward to Heskey. Zeljko Kalac claims the penalty should have never been called, and Steve Corica says the Sky Blues will be better into the wind.
Craig Foster rates Del Piero in his top 10 players of the season so far in tomorrow's Sun-Herald. One other player in today's match also makes Fozzie's best-performed list. Find out where Del Piero rates, if the Kiwi Messi, Marco Rojas, trumps the Italian legend and which young gun also made the list.
Chapman launches a very long free kick and a retreating Adam Griffiths, olloking over his shoulder, is felled by the flying Janjetovic. The keeper used his defender for a cushioned landing! Griffiths takes his leave 30 seconds early, before the half-time whistle.
Zadkovich shoulders Del Piero over the sideline and the Italian, moments later, frees Antonis on the right in a beautifully worked switch of play. Antonis fires the shot but, again, Birighitti is equal to the task. A routine save as Antonis didn't manage to get a good angle on goal.
Del Piero free kick from 25m out. Great strike, right to left, and Birighitti forced to make the save. It was right on target just as the conditions had begun to get feral out there. Sheets of shifting rain bucketing down.
Corner to the Jets and Sydney struggle to clear the ball. Ryall clatters into Griffiths with sledgehammer subtlety. Griffiths puts the subsequent free kick straight into the Sky Blues wall. Their work in the final third letting the Jets down. They're completely on top with seven shots on goal already. Maybe the headwind is working in their favour, while the Sky Blues are misjudging their passes. Now the rain's teeming down.
Griifths breaks down the right from a very good Heskey pass, shrugging off Grant with pace, and centres for Goodwin. He doesn't get there! Good move from the Jets and they're still profiting from attacking Sydney's left-hand side of defence. Goodwin perhaps didn't read the move but it was the perfect opportunity and he was caught behind the action.
Ryan Griffiths's left-foot shot from a throw-in, hooking his boot round the ball, forces a save. Triantis clears the ball on the line from a piledriver! Goodwin's cross floats harmlessly wide. The Jets with the much better chances now and Sydney are living on scraps. Two uncharacteristic mistakes from Del Piero.
Griffiths starts a promising move, with a Neville cut-back aimed for Brown but lands in open space inside the box. No one there to pull the trigger. The Jets making hay on the right. Sherlock given space at the other end by Powell but he over-hits the cross.
Brown on the right, converts scrappy possession, rapid fire, into a cross for Heskey in the middle and only a late headed deflection from Adam Griffiths averted the ball's course towards the big fella.
Del Piero with the long free kick, angled towards Ryall, but easily handled by Mark Birighitti. Powell and Zadkovich getting intimate with each other. Zadkovich then releases Brown on the left but when it comes back his way, off the rebound, he makes a hash of it. Let down by first touch. Neither side exerting any dominance or sustaining a fluid run of possession.
Drama aplenty as Sherlock is booked for hacking down Goodwin from behind. Nowhere near the ball. Former Jet Abass on the break but his lofted through ball misses the target. Then Del Piero hits a 15-metre backheel for Antonis but again the threat's closed down.
Adam Griffiths cops a yellow while trying to distract his brother as he lined up the spot kick. Goal! Cooly taken, into the far left corner of the net. Hits the back corner at pace. Janjetovic guessed right but no chance. It was Grant responsible for clipping Griffiths just a shade inside the box.
Griffiths felled in the box. Marginal call and Del Piero still complaining.
GOAL Del Piero! Completely against the run of play. A stray pass from young Connor Chapman is intercepted by McFlynn, who puts it into the path of Del Piero, alone in the box. Left-foot shot, no look, and it's Sydney with a lead they barely deserve.
Andrew Hoole creating havoc, plays through midfield and gets the ball back in a one-two, before playing Griffiths into the box. Only a Ryall lunge prevents a shot on goal.
A Ryan Griffiths free kick curls into the danger zone but Janjetovic beats Goodwin to the ball.
Goodwin sweeps down the right and centres the ball for Heskey but Janjetovic easily intercepts the cross. A throw-in from Grant, at left-back for Fabio, swirls around in the wind. Antonis does well to dispossess the Knights deep into Sydney territory but then hoofs it aiamlessly downfield. Sydney can't maintain possession for more than a couple of passes. The Jets dominating in midfield.
Jarred Gillett the man in the middle. Heskey and Brown to kick off, playing into a strong southerly wind. The Jets easily clear a timid Sydney foray to open proceedings.
Wintry conditions in the Hunter. Zadkovich back from suspension for the Jets. Antonis, Triantis and Nathan Sherlock all starting for Sydney with Yairo Yau on international duty. Sherlock makes just his second start and will be playing as a right-back in Frank Farina's makeshift team.
Culina, Emerton and Griffiths all out for Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium. That's a massive loss of experience. And it puts Griffiths' brain fade into perspective. His decision to lash out a linesman last week (and a subsequent three-match suspension) has robbed the Sky Blues of a moving target up front for Del Piero. This shapes as a long game for the Italian.
Newcastle: 1. Ben Kennedy 2. Scott Neville 3. Zenon Caravella 4. Josh Mitchell 7. James Brown 8. Ruben Zadkovich 9. Emile Heskey 11. Connor Chapman 12. Josh Brillante 14. Taylor Regan 15. Craig Goodwin 17. James Virgili 18. Jacob Pepper 19. Michael Bridges 20. Mark Birighitti 22. Adam Taggart 23. Ryan Griffiths 25. Mitch Cooper 26. Andrew Hoole
Sydney FC: 1. Ivan Necevski 2. Sebastian Ryall 5. Nathan Sherlock 6. Jason Culinam 8. Adam Griffiths 9. Paul Reid 10. Alessandro Del Piero 12. Blake Powell 15. Terry McFlynn 16. Joel Chianese 17. Terry Antonis 18. Trent McClenahan 20. Vedran Janjetovic 22. Ali Abbas 23. Rhyan Grant 26. Peter Triantis 28. Aaron Calver 29. Joel Griffiths