SYDNEY (AP) – It was a rematch of the A-League's two biggest marquee signings this season - Alessandro Del Piero and Emile Heskey - and the result was similar to the first match between the two, a one-goal win by Heskey's Newcastle Jets.
Del Piero, the former Juventus star returning to the starting lineup for Sydney FC after a hamstring injury, couldn't help his team out of last place as Newcastle beat Sydney 2-1 on Saturday. Craig Goodwin scored in the 13th minute and Heskey in the 26th before Yairo Yau replied for Sydney six minutes later ahead of a scoreless second half.
Newcastle edged Sydney 3-2 the last time the teams met in the second round, with Del Piero and former England international Heskey both scoring.
Sydney FC has just three wins in 12 matches with one draw.
Sydney coach Frank Farina threatened big changes to his side for its next match Thursday against the league-leading Central Coast Mariners.
''When you have to rely on a 38-year-old player (Del Piero) who's just come back from a hamstring injury, it's a bit of a worry,'' Farina said. ''We got what we deserved today and we didn't deserve to win.''
''There will be a lot of nervous players after that. They won't like me when I get angry.''
At the top end of the table, Central Coast maintained a two-point lead over second-place Adelaide United after a 1-1 draw Saturday with the Wellington Phoenix. Dani Sanchez scored with five minutes left for the Phoenix after Daniel McBreen had given the visitors a 1-0 lead just before halftime.
On Friday, Mark Bridge scored three goals as the first-year Western Sydney Warriors continued to impress with a 6-1 win over Adelaide.
Japanese star Shinji Ono created two of the Wanderers' first-half goals to help the team take a 3-0 halftime lead. He then scored from a difficult angle in the 52nd minute before Bridge completed his hat trick four minutes later.
''All along we've maintained that with our performances and the opportunities we created, that a day would come when things fall for us and we punish the opposition,'' Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic said. ''It's always difficult at 3-0 (at halftime), whether you take your foot off the pedal and try and hold on. To get another three goals in the second half was extremely pleasing.''
Adelaide coach John Kosmina said the loss was a ''big lesson.''
''To sum it up, they bashed us,'' Kosmina said. ''We're not a team of fighters. Not to say we can't when we need to. But you actually need to be in a few fights before you learn how to stand up for yourself.''
Also on Friday, midfielder Steven McGarry's goal gave the Perth Glory a 1-0 victory over the defending champion Brisbane Roar.
McGarry's 35-yard strike just before halftime was enough to secure the Glory their first back-to-back wins of the season. The Roar, who replaced head coach Rado Vidosic with Mike Mulvey during the week, remains in ninth place, one point ahead of Sydney.
''I thought the desperation and defending was exceptional,'' Glory coach Ian Ferguson said of his team's first road win of the season. ''They were throwing their bodies on the line and they kept the two banks of four to make it difficult for them.''
In the final match of the 12th round, Archie Thompson's goal in the third and final minute of stoppage time gave the Melbourne Victory a 2-1 win over the Melbourne Heart in a local derby.