Dream contest leaves Del Piero’s Sydney FC languishing

Ryan Selvage Roar Guru

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    Alessandro Del Piero will line up for the A-League All Stars against his old club Juventus. (AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford)

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    It was the game the A-League had only ever dared to dream of: two international stars facing off in a New South Wales derby at a packed Allianz Stadium.

    With more than 35,000 parochial fans flocking to a picturesque Moore Park, there were lofty expectations thrust upon the shoulders of the league’s newest marquee men – and to the delight of everyone involved, they delivered.

    The Harbour City gave us marvellous conditions for football, but more importantly, the players gave their fans a treat to savour.

    The predominately sky-blue crowd was stunned in the 12th minute by a scrappy goal from the boot of Ryan Griffiths. A poor clearance from a corner gave the striker an opportunity to secure bragging rights over brother Adam, and the Newcastle star slotted home the goal – to the clear distaste of The Cove.

    Sydney FC appeared to have been rattled by the record home crowd and the concession of that early goal. The anticipation appeared to have gotten the better of the 11 men in blue, bar one.

    Italian import Alessandro Del Piero won a free kick in shooting range after enduring heavy attention from the Jets’ defence. Known for his ability to curl the ball over walls, Del Piero stepped up once more to set the crowd alight in the 26th minute, scoring his first goal for his new club. The crowd was delighted, and the scores were levelled at one apiece.

    Enter Emile Heskey.

    The English colossus was not to be outdone, making the most of his limited chances on goal to give the Jets the lead once more in the 41st minute. Criticised for last week’s performance at home, Heskey made amends.

    All of this before the change of ends.

    Jets front man Goodwin doubled Newcastle’s lead in the 63rd minute with a composed strike, beating Necevski and sinking the hearts of the Sydney supporters.

    Cue Del Piero.

    No less than 60 seconds later, the former Italian captain had a half-chance on goal – though he couldn’t repeat his first half heroics. The wily playmaker did all he could to conjure a second goal for the home side, and after relentless pressure on the Newcastle defence, Sydney captured their second through Powell in the 73rd.

    The strike proved little more than a consolation goal for Del Piero’s β€˜New Azzurri’, Newcastle holding on to secure a 3-2 victory away from home.

    Although the Sydney fans did not get the win, they witnessed a display of talent and class far superior to what we have seen in the A-League since its inception.

    Having said that, Sydney remain glued to the bottom of the ladder after two matches, yet to register a single point.

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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • October 14th 2012 @ 7:23am
      Geordie said | October 14th 2012 @ 7:23am | ! Report

      Del Piero is a class above everyone on the pitch – maybe 2 or 3 classes in fact. Despite the loss I think most of the 35000 should have seen enough to come back for more. I’ll have to wait until Nov 16 when the great man visits Roar territory.

    • October 14th 2012 @ 7:33am
      MV Dave said | October 14th 2012 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      Given the publicity, the crowds and the merchandise/membership sales one could say Del Piero has already paid his way for SFC this season. However this guy offers so much more…he loves the game and from what l have seen and heard is a true ambassador of the sport. He also has retained his individual brilliance and whilst the legs may have slowed his skills and brain are as sharp as ever. There is something endearing about him during interview as he tries to explain his thoughts in broken English. Geez even the Channel Nein Morning Show were glowing in their praise for him and the occasion.
      Still early days in his time here but the guy is a footballing genius and appears so humble and genuinely excited about his “project” in Oz. Long may he be able to curl and blast them in as he did yesterday against the Jets.
      On the opposite side well done to Emile Hesky who l thought was immense with his work rate and overall game scoring a terrific goal for icing on the cake.
      However good the two superstars were it was even more refreshing to see a young, up and coming Aussie as man of the match. Well done Craig Goodwin who was brilliant yesterday and we look forward to seeing the future unfold for this young star.
      It has to be said that yesterday..”.football was the real winner”. πŸ™‚

      • October 14th 2012 @ 9:17am
        nachos supreme said | October 14th 2012 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        Goodwin, wow, saw him close up for the first time yesterday, and he was very impressive.
        One other thing I noticed yesterday that was unusual off the pitch was the numbers of old men.
        Old men everywhere which was great to see.

        • Roar Guru

          October 14th 2012 @ 11:15am
          Atawhai Drive said | October 14th 2012 @ 11:15am | ! Report

          In row GG, seats 17 and 18, two old men thoroughly enjoyed the match, even if the result didn’t go our way.

          Good as it was to see the mature skills of ADP and Emile Heskey, we got a real kick out of watching Craig Goodwin. As another old guy sitting nearby said, “That kid’s a real goer”.

          Michael Cockerill, no longer with the SMH and not required yesterday for Fox Sports commentary, sat in the public seats in the row behind us, although I would guess his new role of associate editor of footballaustralia.com.au would guarantee his access to the press box. He seemed to enjoy himself too.

          • October 14th 2012 @ 10:22pm
            nachos supreme said | October 14th 2012 @ 10:22pm | ! Report

            Well supporting SFC will do that….age a man I mean πŸ™‚ I might not quite have the vest or the Zapata style tash and I stil have my hair but it won’t be long if SFC keep defending like they did, or should I say didn’t?……will be keeping a beady eye out for Goodwin in future ,at 20 years old he’s certainly someone to watch hey?

    • October 14th 2012 @ 8:44am
      Titus said | October 14th 2012 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      It was like getting a glimpse of the future, this is a taste of what football can be like when you have some quality and big crowds.

      The final 30 mins provided the kind of tension, excitement and theatre that only football can. This is the reason every fan loves the game and supports the game, because they want to see young Aussie players develop skills like Del and Heskey(great game from Goodwin) and for Australians to be able to enjoy top flight football at home.

      Wonderful occassion. Anyone who was questioning the value of both Heskey and Del as marquees must be busy washing the egg off their face right now.

      • October 14th 2012 @ 10:16am
        Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | October 14th 2012 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        I was there yesterday and what a day we had! Nursing a hangover at the moment but it was worthwhile. What a day for our game!
        You could not have scripted that yesterday and when ADP scored the atmosphere in the stands was almost on par with Uruguay ’05 with complete strangers high-fiving each other.
        Pity about the result and things will have to improve and to an extent they did since last week but apart from ADP we still looked hopeless for the most part.
        Ian Cook – you have 1 more week to get it right. Make it happen or we’ll make ADP player-coach! πŸ˜‰

        • October 14th 2012 @ 3:09pm
          oly09 said | October 14th 2012 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

          Great occasion, even if a few comments I overheard from some bandwagoners riled me up. Can’t say it was anywhere near the atmosphere or feeling of the Uruguay game though.

          Hopefully a few of the new fans turn up for the next game at Homebush and that the Wanderers game is a sellout.

      • October 14th 2012 @ 1:27pm
        Andyroo said | October 14th 2012 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

        Even before the free kick I was reaching for the wash cloth.

        All three of the new marquees have worked out well.

    • October 14th 2012 @ 9:00am
      Arthur Fonzarelli said | October 14th 2012 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      The A League has finally got it right.

      Genuine class international marquee players, plus expansion into areas based on population not geography. I think the current 10 teams is spot on both in number and location, and should not be tampered with for a while, with the exception maybe of a side in Auckland or 3rd sides in Sydney and / or Melbourne way down the track.

      The only way is up, bigger crowds = bigger revenue = more ability to buy classy imports = more bigger crowds = more bigger revenue …..and so on and so forth.

      • October 14th 2012 @ 12:48pm
        Chris said | October 14th 2012 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

        You have heard on the New Zealand Knights haven’t you? The FFA would sooner go back to Townsville than Auckland.

        If they are going to have a second NZ team then South Island (playing out of the brilliant new rectangular stadiums in Christchurch and Dunedin) would seem the best best.

        • October 14th 2012 @ 3:14pm
          Arthur Fonzarelli said | October 14th 2012 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

          I am aware of the failure in Auckland first time around.

          My point is that Auckland, as NZ’s biggest city by a long shot, would have the population base to support an A League team if it was managed well.

          The Auckland v Wellington rivalry is intense too and would add another great derby.

    • October 14th 2012 @ 9:57am
      Swampy said | October 14th 2012 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      Del Piero was outstanding but Goodwin made me sit up and take notice.

      He was able to beat multiple defenders, showed sneaky skills and had speed to burn. Most importantly Goodwin kept bobbing up in the right areas.

      He looked a bit cheeky with a bit of steel thrown in. Be happy if he keeps it up. Great goal but could of had more.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

    • October 14th 2012 @ 11:35am
      jamesb said | October 14th 2012 @ 11:35am | ! Report

      What we saw yesterday clearly illustrates that the A-league needs more marquee players. Simple as that!

      They bring people through the gate, and they also bring in high quality of play. This is where youngsters coming through like Goodwin benefit the most. When that happens, thats when Australian football is in a healthy state.

      I’ve seen Del Piero play the first two games, and he is simply fantastic. He is fun to watch.

      What Sydney FC need to do now is for Emerton to start at RM, and have Ryall at RB. Also have Reid replace McFlynn.

      Its pretty obvoius those changes helped Sydney FCs cause yesterday. Add to that you got Antonis, Bosschaart and Culina to come in, I think Sydney FC will have a very handy side.

      As for Goodwin, whats his best position LB or LM?

      I’m mean if the Socceroos struggle again on Wednesday morning, your better off capping him for the Socceroos next game. He is the sort of player the Socceroos have been missing since Lazaridis.

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