Jets and Roar play out Suncorp stalemate

The Newcastle Jets have drawn 1-all with Brisbane Roar in round 13 of the Hyundai A-League at Suncorp Stadium this evening.

The Newcastle Jets have drawn 1-all with Brisbane Roar in round 13 of the Hyundai A-League at Suncorp Stadium this evening.

An early goal by striker Labinot Haliti was cancelled out soon after by a Sergio van Dijk penalty in what was an extremely tight contest. The result is the first ever draw between the two clubs in 6 previous outings in Brisbane, and halts a 4-game losing streak for the Roar.

The visitors began the game brightly, with skipper Matt Thompson having a half-chance in only the second minute, only to see his effort skew wide of Griffin McMaster-s goal.

Moments later and Michael Bridges controlled a cross field ball from Jin-Hyung Song and hit an ambitious 25-yard volley that McMaster claimed confidently.

In the 32nd minute, Haliti was given an opportunity from close range and bagged his third goal in as many games to give the Jets the lead. Thompson initially played Bridges in behind the Roar defence, before the Englishman knocked in a delightful cross for Haliti to nod home just 6-yards out.

However, the Jets were unable to hold onto their advantage as referee Chris Beath gave a penalty just 10 minutes from the halftime break. Left wingback Adam D-Apuzzo was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box and prolific Roar striker Sergio van Dijk made no mistake from the penalty spot to restore parity.

On 44 minutes, van Dijk had the chance to double his tally when he headed toward goal from a Tommy Oar cross, but Jets custodian Ben Kennedy tipped the strike over the bar.

The second half was a real armwrestle that saw the Jets defence resist wave after wave of Roar attack. Oar continued to be a menace down the left flank and van Dijk was a constant threat, but a staunch Newcastle rearguard was able to frustrate the home side throughout the second 45.

Five minutes from time Tarek Elrich nearly snatched all three competition points when he pushed forward on the counter attack. However, after cutting inside from the right wing, his curling left-footed strike from 20-yards was held well by McMaster.

After the match, Head Coach Branko Culina was relatively pleased with the result, which keeps both sides locked on 13 Hyundai A-League points.

“We got a point away from home against a team that was desperate to turn things around, and sooner or later they will, but it-s always disappointing when you take a lead and don-t take full advantage of it.”

Culina also took time out post-match to praise the strike partnership of Bridges and Haliti who once again combined to give the Jets an early lead, as they did last weekend against the Central Coast Mariners.

“I-m very pleased with Haliti, I think he-s on 4 goals (for the season), and Bridgey-s been playing some outstanding football and I-m sure that he will convert his opportunities sooner than later,” he said.

There will be no rest for Culina-s men as they return home briefly before heading across the Tasman to take on Wellington Phoenix in a round 10 catch-up match next Wednesday, 4 November at Westpac Stadium.

Match details:
Newcastle Jets: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO, 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c) (12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE 69-), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 14. Michael BRIDGES (22. Kaz PATAFTA 76-), 17. Fabio VIGNAROLI, 25. Labinot HALITI (9. Sasho PETROVSKI 80-)
Unused substitutes: 20. Neil YOUNG (gk)
Yellow cards: Adam D-Apuzzo 36-, Ben Kantarovski 63-
Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar: 20. Griffin McMASTER (gk), 2. Andrew PACKER, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Craig MOORE (c) 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 15. Matt McKAY, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Danny TIATTO (29 Mario KARLOVIC
72-), 19. Isaka CERNAK, 21. Tommy OAR, 27. Ivan FRANJIC
Unused substitutes: 30. Matt ACTON (gk), 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 6. David DODD
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar: 1 (Van Dijk 36- pen.)
Newcastle Jets: 1 (Haliti 32-)
Referee: Chris BEATH
Crowd: 7,509