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Football | International

Alessandro Del Piero © Action Images

Late penalty gives Newcastle draw



Former Juventus and Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero gave Sydney FC a 12th-minute lead but two Ryan Griffiths penalties, including the second with a minute left in regular time, gave the Newcastle Jets a 2-2 draw in the A-League on Saturday.

Blake Powell's 57th-minute goal gave Sydney a 2-1 lead, but Griffiths' penalty, called when Sydney skipper Terry McFlynn was sent off for a handball from a corner kick, leveled the match.

"I tried to keep my wits about me, it was definitely a bit of pressure," Griffiths said of the late penalty conversion.

Earlier Saturday, Jeremy Brockie's goal in the 41st minute gave Wellington Phoenix a 1-0 win over the Perth Glory.

On Friday, Daniel McBreen's 14th goal of the season in the 80th minute gave the first-place Central Coast Mariners a 2-2 draw with the defending champion Brisbane Roar. The Mariners have a six-point lead in the standings depending on the later Saturday match between second-place Melbourne Victory and the Melbourne Heart.

Albanian striker Besart Berisha scored two goals for Brisbane and new Dutch recruit Stef Nijland, on loan from PSV Eindhoven, made an immediate impact in a 30-minute appearance just 38 hours after flying into Brisbane.

"You better believe it, yeah there's plenty of life and spark," Brisbane coach Mike Mulvey said as his team moved close to a top-six playoff spot. "We're on the road to recovery. We're not there yet because when we're there we'll be able to see out a game like that."

Adelaide plays Western Sydney on Sunday to conclude the 19th round.

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