Brave Jets claim comeback draw

The Jets have fought back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Sydney FC at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday evening.

A brave Newcastle Jets outfit has made a valiant comeback to draw 1-1 with rivals Sydney FC at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday evening.

Brazilian striker Bruno Cazarine opened the scoring for the Sky Blues with less than 15 minutes remaining in the second-half, but a last gasp goal by substitute Sasho Petrovski handed the home side a hard-earned point.

The result, though, does little for the finals aspirations of both clubs, particularly after Wellington’s defeat of Adelaide United on Saturday night. The Jets now sit on 32 competition points with two games remaining, six points behind the sixth-placed Phoenix.

In a timely boost for the Jets, winger Ali Abbas was ruled fit to start after overcoming a groin injury, while National Youth League left-back Mario Simic was given his first Hyundai A-League start in the absence of the suspended Marcello Fiorentini.

The match was played in trying conditions as a heavy downpour hit EnergyAustralia Stadium throughout the afternoon. As a result, clear-cut scoring chances were scarce, with both sides being forced to play within themselves.

The first-half in particular was a cautious affair.

However, the home side did produce a scare for the Sky Blues’ defence when Simic sent over a dangerous cross from the left flank in the 13th minute. The ball skipped across the greasy surface and across the face of goal before reaching Jeremy Brockie at the far post. Unfortunately for the Kiwi international, he slipped just as he was about to pull the trigger with the goal seemingly at his mercy.

Down the other end, Sydney were looking to use the conditions to their advantage from a Sung-Hwan Byun free-kick, which also bounced past a group of defenders before Matt Jurman’s touch at the back post went inches wide of the target.

But perhaps the best chance of the opening stanza fell to striker Labinot Haliti just prior to the halftime whistle. Finding himself in the path of a Tarek Elrich shot-cum-cross, the Kosovo-born frontman flicked the ball goalward, only to be denied by the crossbar with shot-stopper Ivan Necevski beaten.

Sydney then started the second period the brighter of the two sides, with Nick Carle getting the best out of Ben Kennedy on a couple of occasions with two fine strikes from distance just after the resumption of play.

Branko Culina responded by making an attacking double substitution, bringing Petrovski and James Virgili into the contest to boost the Jets’ frontline.

But it would be Sydney that would break the deadlock with a strong piece of work in the 76th minute. Cazarine held off his marker from a Scott Jamieson throw-in before hitting a powerful shot-on-the-turn into the bottom corner of the net.

Just when it seemed that a result was beyond the reach of the Novocastrians, the experienced Petrovski struck to claim a deserved equaliser with just 6 minutes on the clock.

Skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley headed a Jobe Wheelhouse free-kick on target, and Necevski could only palm the ball into the path of Petrovski who prodded home his fourth goal of the campaign, much to the delight of the 6,780 fans inside EnergyAustralia Stadium.

With the momentum behind them, the Jets then sought out a winner and pushed forward in numbers. Young striker Marko Jesic came close with a few attempts at goal in the dying stages only to be thwarted at the last by an impressive Necevski.

The draw means the Jets go into this Thursday’s home game against the Perth Glory desperate to claim all three points on offer. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be there to support your Newcastle Jets, pre-purchase your tickets through www.proticket.com.au today!

Match Details:
Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Adam D’APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14. Labinot HALITI (31. Jacob PEPPER 83′), 16. Jeremy BROCKIE (13. Sasho PETROVSKI 67′), 18. Marko JESIC, 19. Ali ABBAS (26. James VIRGILI 67′), 25. Sam GALLAWAY, 28. Mario SIMIC

Unused Substitutes: 40. Matt NASH (gk)

Yellow Cards: Nikolai Topor-Stanley 89′, Tarek Elrich 90+1′

Red Cards Nil

Sydney FC: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 3. Stephan KELLER, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU (12. Shannon COLE 74′), 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 10. Nick CARLE (2. Sebastian RYALL 83′), 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 17. Matthew JURMAN, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 24. Dimitri PETRATOS (18. Juho MAKELA 44′)

Unused Substitutes: 30. Dylan MITCHELL (gk)

Yellow Cards: Juho Makela 72′

Red Cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 1 (Petrovski 84′)
Sydney FC: 1 (Cazarine 76′)