Melbourne Heart beat Newcastle in A-League
SYDNEY (AP) -Croatian striker Josip Tadic's goal in the 27th minute gave Melbourne Heart a 2-1 home win over the Newcastle Jets on Tuesday, moving the team out of last place in the A-League.
Golgol Mebrahtu put the Heart ahead after six minutes, but Ryan Griffiths equalized for the Jets with an 18th-minute penalty.
Former England international Emile Heskey had a frustrating game for Newcastle. His header on goal was well saved by goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne in the 48th minute in a strong start to the second half, and Heskey produced another dangerous header in the 79th minute which was saved on the line by Redmayne.
Heskey's frustrations spilled over in the 86th minute when he was yellow-carded for dissent.
British-born Heskey, whose father came from the Caribbean island of Antigua, arranged for former Antigua and West Indies cricketing great Viv Richards to address the Jets players before Tuesday's game.
Richards, who attended the match, is spending the Australian summer in Melbourne as a mentor for Australian Twenty20 cricket team the Melbourne Stars.
On Monday, Central Coast beat Perth 1-0 to ensure it ended the year atop the standings. Bernie Ibini-Isei's left-foot shot in the 68th minute produced the sole goal and gave the Mariners their ninth win from 14 games.
Adelaide United stayed two points behind Central Coast by beating Sydney FC 3-0. Sydney, without former Juventus great Alessandro del Piero, replaced Melbourne Heart at the bottom of the table.
Del Piero was announced as a calf injury withdrawal from the match on Sunday, when Sydney coach Frank Farina complained about the number of fouls the 38-year-old had to endure in his side's previous match against Central Coast.
Farina said Del Piero was fouled eight or 10 times during the match.
"There needs to be better protection for him on the field ... we play a physical game and Alessandro is a big boy who can handle himself, but he is getting kicked repeatedly and if that continues he will miss games through injury,'' Farina said ahead of the match.
Farina said Sydney's side was so weak due to injuries that - even at the age of 48 - he could have performed well against them.
"I could have played out there with a red (Adelaide) shirt on,'' Farina said.
The injury list also includes Jason Culina, Paul Reid, Ivan Necevski, Fabio, Pascal Bosschaart and Krunoslav Lovrek. When experienced midfielder Adam Griffiths limped off in the 12th minute with a knee injury, Farina sent on 16-year-old Aaron Calver as his replacement.
"We were out-experienced, we only had Brett (Emerton) and Terry (McFlynn) on the park who you would call experienced players,'' Farina said.
"When the 16-year-olds start to be your better players, it shows we're lacking players at the moment and lacking experience.''
Adelaide coach John Kosmina said the Reds could have scored seven or eight goals.
"It was a really good, solid performance,'' he said.
In late matches which concluded the 14th round, Japanese playmaker Shinji Ono scored in each half to give the first-year Western Sydney Wanderers a 2-1 win over the Melbourne Victory, and defending champion Brisbane beat Wellington 2-1 on Ben Halloran's 58th-minute goal.