Del Piero leads Sydney FC to memorable 7-1 win


A footballing master class from Alessandro Del Piero has led Sydney FC to a record beating 7-1 triumph over the Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium tonight.

A footballing master class from Alessandro Del Piero has led Sydney FC to a record beating 7-1 triumph over the Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium tonight.

No superlative could encompass the performance witnessed today at Allianz Stadium, although breathtaking, extraordinary, Brazil-esque and magical all come close.

In front of a crowd of 12, 691, the Sky Blues delivered a footballing lesson on par with any team, with Del Piero leading the way.

Although he will take the plaudits, the whole team deserves recognition for the performance, which also saw new signing Joel Griffiths net. Jason Culina and Yairo Yao were also on the scoresheet, which importantly sees the Sky Blues leap into sixth spot on the ladder.

Sydney led 4-0 after only 25 minutes, the fastest start to a match in A-League history and led 5-0 at the break.

Remarkably Del Piero was involved in the first six goals, scoring four and providing the assists for the other two. The only goal that he wasn-t involved in came after he had been substituted by Blake Powell, who claimed an assist for Yau-s goal.

Records to tumble included the Sydney FC-s highest ever score and margin of victory, surpassing the 5-1 defeat of Central Coast in the 2005/06 season.

New recruits Griffiths and Tiago Calvano were handed starting debuts by Frank Farina, as the coach made three changes from last week-s triumphant team. Team Captain Terry McFlynn was also handed a starting berth in the centre of midfield with Peter Triantis, Yau and Trent McClenahan making way, with the latter two finding a position on the bench.

It was the hugely impressive Griffiths who first adorned himself to the home faithful, taking only 11 minutes to open his Sydney FC account with a classy finish under Phoenix ‘keeper Mark Paston. Del Piero released the striker with a sumptuous lob, which Griffiths beat Ben Sigmund to and finished first time into the back of the net.

Paston redeemed himself shortly afterwards with a terrific near post save from a Fabio thunderbolt, after the most impressive of build ups from the Sky Blues.

On 19 minutes, lasts weeks hero Rhyan Grant thought he had scored for the second consecutive week only to see his effort ruled out for handball in the build-up.

The adoring crowd didn-t have to wait long for a second goal, as Del Piero scored his first for the evening with a sublime effort. Terry McFlynn found the Italian maestro with a low cross, and with his back to goal, Del Piero swivelled onto his left foot and curled the ball into the top left corner.

Only two minutes later Del Piero had his second and Sydney-s third, hitting the back of the net from the penalty spot. Phoenix Captain Andrew Durante was ruled to have fouled Culina inside the area and the Italian took full advantage, sending Paston the wrong way with the penalty.

Everything that Del Piero touched turned to gold in the first half and he created Sydney-s fourth after only 25 minutes of play. From central midfield he released Ali Abbas down the left flank, who in turn found Culina on the edge of the penalty area, where the Socceroo lashed home inside the near post.

Not content with two goals and two assists in the first 25 minutes, Del Piero completed his hat-trick on 39 minutes with a stupendous finish. Emerton found the Italian in acres of space on the left side of the penalty area and from this point Del Piero showed his trick bag to Leo Bertos, sumptuously finishing past Paston.

Allianz Stadium rose as one at half time, having seen the quickest four goals in A-league history and a performance which adjectives couldn-t describe, such was the total dominance of the Sky Blues.

The second half continued as the first finished, with Sydney in total control.

Not content with scoring just his fourth career hat-trick, Del Piero scored his fourth goal, the first time in his career that he had reached the mark. The Italian was found by Abbas who had made a barnstorming run and facing Andrew Durante his strike was a carbon copy of his third goal, showing the technical prowess that has made him one of the game-s best players.

With 11 minutes to play Ben Sigmund netted a consolation for the visitors with a strong header from a Paul Ifill cross.

With seven minutes remaining Farina made the decision replace Del Piero, allowing him to earn the standing ovation he thoroughly deserved.

Only a minute later Powell took this instruction literally, releasing Yau on goal with a no-look pass that the Panamanian accepted gleefully and finished assuredly.

Sydney FC 7 (Joel GRIFFITHS 11-, Alessandro DEL PIERO 20- 23- 39- 70-, Jason CULINA 26-, Yairo YAU 84-) d Wellington Phoenix 1 (Ben Sigmund 79-).

Allianz Stadium
Crowd: 12, 691.

Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. FABIO, 6. Jason CULINA, 7. Brett EMERTON, 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO (12. Blake POWELL 83-), 13. Tiago CALVANO (18. Trent McCLENAHAN 57-), 15. Terry McFLYNN, 22. Ali ABBAS, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 29. Joel GRIFFITHS (21. Yairo YAU 65-).

Sub not used: 33. Matthew NASH (GK).
Yellow Cards: Ali ABBAS 68-.

Wellington Phoenix: 1. Mark PASTON (GK), 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 6. Alexander SMITH, 7. Leo BERTOS, 10. Stein HUYSEGEMS (8. Paul IFILL 65-), 11. Jeremy BROCKIE, 12. Tyler BOYD, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 21. Daniel SANCHEZ (16. Louie FENTON 84-), 22. Andrew DURANTE.

Subs not used: 20. Glen MOSS (GK), 9. Benjamin TOTORI.
Yellow Cards: Vince LIA 38-, Ben SIGMUND 47-, Jeremy BROCKIE 73-.