Newcastle Jets have earned their second win of the season with a 1-0 win over the reigning champions Melbourne Victory at Hunter Stadium. Our friends at Outside90 discuss what we can take away from the match.
A cagey opening ten minutes soon turned into a variety of chances for both sides. The teams both had spells of possession and were patient in their build up, however, neither the Jets nor the Victory were able to find the back of the net in the first half.
At the restart Victory were on the attack immediately but were once again unable to find a way past Kennedy in the Jets goal. As the match progressed, the midfield opened right up and it was end to end.
Victory found plenty of space on the flanks but weren’t able to turn that into any meaningful chances, while the Jets were quick in transition, catching the Victory defence out of formation but couldn’t pounce on this advantage.
Fans had to wait until the 75th minute for that elusive goal. A Newcastle free kick on the edge of the area was taken by Leonardo who played the ball off to his left where the unmarked David Carney unleashed a wicked shot past the diving Danny Vukovic.
Changes at the Jets
Scott Miller made a few changes to the side which lost 1-0 to Sydney FC and this combination of players worked incredibly well. Ben Kennedy was between the sticks, with Mark Birighitti out of action after the nasty facial injury he sustained at the hands of Shane Smeltz. Kennedy made plenty of decent saves to deny Victory’s attackers throughout the match.
Captain Nigel Boogaard returned to the centre of defence while Lachlan Jackson – in his debut for the Jets – was tasked with containing one of the league’s most exciting attacking players in Kosta Barbarouses. The central defender played 68 minutes as a makeshift left back and held his own against the lively Barbarouses.
Newcastle also had to contend with the loss of Labinot Haliti, who ruptured his ACL in the loss to Sydney and did incredibly well.
Bogey team status remains
It was the phrase which Kevin Muscat was sick of hearing during the week but its pertinence was highlighted once again. Newcastle Jets are Melbourne Victory’s bogey team.
Victory continue to struggle to play well against the Jets in Newcastle. They haven’t won at Hunter Stadium since October 18th 2009.
Given the Jets’ recent run of poor, lacklustre seasons and the Victory finding plenty of success over the past few campaigns, culminating in the double last season, the Melbourne side’s inability to find success in Newcastle, on paper at least, is very strange.
However, for tonight’s performance, credit must be given to the Jets set up and played the game. They were more than up to the challenge of matching it with one of the competition’s best sides and played smartly and entertainingly.
Struggling to finish
Prior to Carney’s sweet strike, a cheeky free kick variation, the question on everyone’s lips was how could the match still be scoreless? Both sides had a plethora of chances but neither side could find the back of the net.
Victory boast one of the most exciting attacking line ups in the league, one which is proven to score goals, with the likes of Besart Berisha, Kosta Barbarouses, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Gui Finkler. However, against the Jets defence, the reigning champions were off radar with multiple shots going just wide or being blocked by the Newcastle defence.
The Jets were off target as well, with Serbian import Milos Trifunovic missing chance after chance despite plenty of exciting build up play, particularly in combination with the Brazilian Leonardo.
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