Jets draw inspiration from Sydney hit-out

The Newcastle Jets have drawn 1-1 with Sydney FC in their penultimate pre-season match this evening at a rain soaked Sydney Football Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have drawn 1-1 with Sydney FC in their penultimate pre-season match this evening at a rain soaked Sydney Football Stadium.

A finely crafted second half goal to Korean youth international Jin-Hyung Song brought the scores level after Sydney dynamo Alex Brosque gave the home side the lead early in the match.

With the visitors fielding a somewhat understrength side and a number of triallists, it was Sydney who took the first shot in anger on 14 minutes when striker Mark Bridge hit a shot on the turn. In an opportunist-s strike, Bridge fired a first-time shot from 6 yards out, only to see Jets- custodian Ben Kennedy make a fine save down low to his left.

There were few other clear cut chances for either side in the opening stanza, until Alex Brosque scored from 20 yards out in the 28th minute. The move that triggered the game-s opener began with goalkeeper Ivan Necevski and ended with Brosque playing a neat one-two with Steve Corica before the left winger blasted a strike on the run past Kennedy to give the Sky Blues the lead.

The visitors began to settle into the game at the beginning of the second half and gained the ascendency when Italian playmaker Fabio Vignaroli entered the fray with half an hour remaining.

On 68 minutes, Jobe Wheelhouse tried his luck after cutting onto his right foot 15 yards from goal. However, his measured strike was held comfortably by Necevski.

Five minutes later and it was the Italian maestro who would unlock the miserly Sydney defence to bring about the deserved equaliser. Vignaroli, a star for the Jets through much of their recent AFC Champions League campaign, knocked a sublime through ball into the path of Jin-Hyung Song. With Necevski rushing out, Song calmly lofted the ball over the ‘keeper and into the back of the net.

As the final whistle beckoned, the Jets pushed hard for the winner, and nearly found it through efforts by Sean Rooney and Matt Thompson, who watched their late strikes fly marginally off target.

Head Coach Branko Culina was generally pleased with the performance of his side, who are now three games undefeated.

“We were hard to break down today but when we got the ball in the first half we did nothing with it, we just gave it straight back. That-s also understandable, to some extent, because we were missing Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Donny de Groot, Tarek Elrich, Ben Kantarovski and Marko Jesic.”

“We need more games and to have all of our players back so that we can get that understanding and cohesion that-s required,” Culina said.

Culina also praised the contribution of Vignaroli, who played his first game since returning to Australia from a break spent at his home in northern Italy.

“Quality players are always important to a club. He-s the type of player that-s got the experience and he-s got the quality. That was just a great ball that Fabio played through for Song to score the equaliser,” the Jets- boss said of the Italian midfielder.

Match Details:
Sydney FC: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA, 12. Shannon COLE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE (38. Kerem BULUT 78-), 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 32. Brendan GAN, 39. Stephen KELLER
Unused substitutes: 30. John FILAN (gk), 5. Mitchel PRENTICE, 36. Zach CAIRNCROSS,
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Andrea MERENDA (6. Fabio VIGNAROLI 60-), 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 9. Sasho PETROVSKI (11. Felipe GARCIA 71-), 10. Jorge FLORENTIN (8. Matt THOMPSON 45-), 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 13. Shaun ONTONG, 14. Angelo COSTANZO, 19. Peter HAYNES (17. Sean ROONEY 60-)
Unused substitutes: 40. Ben MCNAMARA (gk), 16. Mitchell JOHNSON, 18. Joel WOOD, 21. Brodie MOOY, Jesse PINTO, Jarrad ROSS
Yellow cards: Adam D-Apuzzo 12-, Ljubo Milicevic 57-
Red cards: Nil