THE Newcastle Jets spoiled Sydney FC's Wollongong party with a 1-0 victory in front of 6,540 people at WIN Stadium on Saturday night.
James Virgili capped a best on ground performance with a 52nd minute goal that silenced the pro-Sydney crowd and the Sky Blues were unable to find an equaliser in a match that Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero sat out.
Jets coach Gary Van Egmond said he was happy with the win but said that both sides kept a few aces up their sleeve.
"It's always good to get the win if its a friendly or not a friendly but the most pleasing part of the game apart from the result was the way we played," Van Egmond said.
"Now we start to step up the opposition, we have Melbourne on Wednessday then we have Central Coast the following Sunday so it's good to get these games in. We obviously didn't show too much and I'm sure they didn't show too much."
Van Egmond also praised the performance of Virgili.
"He's quick and he creates a lot of headaches for opposition fullbacks," he said.
"He's still getting better, it's been a real process with him but it's really starting to come together for the young boy."
In a scoreless first half it was the Jets who threatened first with skipper Ruben Zadkovich firing from close range after just three minutes.
Sydney keeper Vedran Janjetovic was on hand to deny the Jets skipper and produced an acrobatic save to deny a runaway Virgili just moments later in what was the best scoring opportunity of the half.
Despite the early Jets onslaught it was the Sky Blues who dominated first-half possession with Tiago Calvano combining often with young gun Hagi Gligor on the right edge. It was a brilliant through ball from Gligor that produced Sydney's first scoring chance, putting Sebastian Ryall away down the right flank though he was unable to find Joel Chianese with the cross.
The Jets had another chance in the 15th minute when Michael Bridges was felled just outside the box.
Zadkovich stepped up for the free-kick but was again denied by Janjetovic.
The last scoring chance of the half came for the Sky Blues when Marc Warren broke away down the left flank and launched a dangerous cross that floated across the Jets goal.
The second half began at a slower pace than the first with the Jets earning a greater share of possession.
The pressure told in the 53rd minute when Zenon Caravella, who was subbed into the match at hafltime, produced a deft through ball that put Virgilli one on one with Janjetovic and the keeper, flawless to that point fumbled the shot that snuck into the goal.
Sydney nearly hit straight back minutes later through Joel Chianese who fired a cannonball towards the top corner only to be denied by diving Jets keeper Mark Birighitti. It was the closest they came to scoring in the match.