Adelaide into 1st, Sydney loses again in A-League

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SYDNEY (AP) -- Adelaide United moved into first place in the A-League on Saturday while two goals from former Juventus and Italy star Alessandro Del Piero couldn't rescue Sydney FC from a fifth loss in seven matches.

Besart Berisha fooled three Sydney defenders before his left-footed strike in the 56th minute -- his 25th goal for the Brisbane Roar -- as the defending champions beat Sydney 4-2, leaving Del Piero's team in second-last place. Del Piero scored in the 42nd and 49th minutes.

Argentine import Jeronimo Neumann benefited from a Melbourne Heart defensive mistake to give Adelaide a 1-0 win.

Melbourne defender Simon Colosimo passed straight to Adelaide's Marcelo Carrusca on an attempted clearing pass in the 58th. Carrusca passed to Neumann, who closed on goal and launched a shot from 10 meters which deflected in off Colosimo's leg.

Central Coast stayed two points behind in second place after a 2-2 draw with the Melbourne Victory. Central Coast defender Patrick Zwaanswijk was red-carded in the 50th after each side scored twice in the first half. Melbourne's Marcos Flores was sent off in the 90th minute.

On Sunday, the Newcastle Jets and their high-profile import, former England international Emile Heskey, missed a chance to move into second place when they were beaten 3-0 by the Wellington Phoenix. Jeremy Brockie scored goals in the 44th and 82nd minutes, and Paul Ifill added the third on a penalty with three minutes left for the Phoenix.

In the other Sunday match, the first-year Western Sydney Wanderers beat Perth 1-0 on Iacopo La Rocca's goal in the 15th minute.

Last week, Ian Crook resigned as Sydney coach. He was replaced by former assistant Steve Corica on an interim basis, but the change made little difference.

"We didn't have a bad game, but it's not the best way to play," Del Piero said of its lack of possession.

On the disruption caused by Crook's departure, Del Piero said: "We have to start again. It's not easy."

Brisbane's first three goals came from Thomas Broich (30th), Erik Paartalu (32nd) and Ben Halloran (44th).

"That's three losses in a row now, but we're not going to give up," Corica said. "We've got two games at home and things can turn around very quickly.

"We're leaking too many goals. You can't concede that many goals and expect to win."