Sydney FC was left still searching for its first win of the season after going down 3-2 to Newcastle Jets in a blockbuster encounter that featured Alessandro Del Piero and Emile Heskey's first A-League goals.
The highly anticipated clash was billed as the battle between Italian legend Del Piero and former England striker Heskey.
And while the two marquees ended their duel on level terms Sydney was left winless and pointless but not disgraced in what was a spectacle for the record regular-season crowd of 35,419 at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
It had the atmosphere of a grand final and both teams played as though a trophy was at stake as they tried desperately to make a statement after opening their campaigns with 2-0 losses.
Ryan Griffiths opened the scoring for Newcastle, with Heskey and Craig Goodwin adding their own while Del Piero and Blake Powell found the net for Sydney.
The crowd was silenced when Griffiths scored Newcastle's first goal of the season only 11 minutes as a result of a Goodwin corner.
Goodwin's ball into the box deflected off Sydney's Brett Emerton into Griffiths's path who made no mistake.
Sydney was awarded a free kick in the 26th minute when Tiago Calvano brought down Del Piero and the Jets' Brazilian import would come to regret his tackle a minute later when the former Juventus striker levelled the score.
The entire stadium held its collective breath when Del Piero stepped up to take the free kick but soon exploded into joy when the Italian legend's spectacular shot from about 25 metres out hit the back of the net.
But the Jets went 2-1 ahead just before the break when Griffiths got the better of Sky Blues skipper Terry McFlynn to cross the ball to former Liverpool striker Heskey who scored with a sensational volley.
Ruben Zadkovich looked like extending the Jets advantage just after the restart with a powerful free kick, forcing a diving save from Sydney gloveman Ivan Necevski.
But Goodwin gave the Jets a 3-1 lead after combining beautifully with Griffiths to find the back of the net with a chipped shot.
Del Piero tried to get one back for the Sky Blues with half an hour to go with a shot from the outside of his right foot that just shaved the post.
Blake Powell however found the net again for Sydney in the 74th minute with a skilful header.
Sydney tried desperately to find the equaliser with a flurry of shots in the dying minutes but they were all in vain.
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