Former international football stars Emile Heskey and Alessandro Del Piero had big weekend’s for their respective A-League clubs as the league continues to rise in stature behind the star signings.
Heskey’s Newcastle Jets were able to secure a win against Western Sydney while Del Piero’s Sydney FC suffered a shocking late game collapse against the Melbourne Victory.
Newcastle enjoyed a 2-1 win after Heskey continued his hot streak in front of goal with his fifth in six games. His close range flick in the 35th minute turned out the to be the game winner after falling behind 1-0 at the 15 minute mark courtesy of a Joe Gibbs effort from close range.
Ryan Griffiths equalised some 12 minutes later before Heskey provided the finishing touch. It almost all came crumbling down however when substitute Jacob Pepper somehow managed to receive two yellow cards in the final six minutes. Newcastle survived with just the 10 men finishing off the game.
Speaking of crumbling, Del Piero’s Sydney FC suffered a remarkable collapse against the Melbourne Victory when teenager Andrew Nabbout came off the bench to fuel a ferocious attack.
Nabbout entered with 20 minutes remaining and his side down 2-0, but scored two fantastic goals to help Melbourne to come from behind. The first was a wonderful curling left-foot shot and the second came from a corner pass in the 91st minute. Socceroo Archie Thompson produced the equaliser in the 85th minute.
Del Piero played a classy game, helping Sydney to a comfortable 2-0 before being subbed out in the 66th minute, but the decision to rest the Italian is one the club is probably now regretting. Regardless, their early lead, played in front of 21,000 fans, was impressive considering the 7-2 loss they suffered at the hands of Central Coast the week before.
Melbourne Heart FC began the Round 6 with a 4-1 win against the Brisbane Roar on Friday night, their first win since the opening week of the season.
Crave has Australian sport covered.
Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.