Italian maestro Alessandro Del Piero scored his first goal in the Australian A-league Saturday but it was not enough to prevent his Sydney FC from going down 3-2 to the Newcastle Jets in a charged match.
Del Piero curled in a majestic free kick to open his A-League account in his second match in Australia but the Jets profited from slack Sydney defence with former England international Emile Heskey among their goalscorers.
The presence of the 37-year-old Juventus legend generated a near-capacity 35,000 crowd in Sydney and he didn't disappoint with another classy display trying to lift his team after falling 2-1 behind at halftime.
Del Piero equalised with a brilliantly-taken free kick in the 26th minute, dipping his set-piece over the defensive wall and into the net to a massive roar.
"We are not happy, we fought back later but we have to do better for our next game," Del Piero said.
"My goal was not enough and I want to score more goals for Sydney this season."
But Sydney, 2-0 losers to Wellington Phoenix last week, were their own worst enemies with a shaky defence and former Beijing Guoan striker Ryan Griffiths netting in the 11th minute and providing the final ball for the Jets' other two goals.
Heskey also opened his A-League account with a twisting volley off a Griffiths cross in the 41st minute before he was substituted seven minutes from the end.
Referee Chris Beath had his hands full controlling the feisty match, issuing a total of seven yellow cards, with Del Piero crudely chopped down by Brazilian defender Tiago Calvano before scoring from the resulting free kick.