Jets run down by comeback Victory

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 3-1 by Melbourne Victory in Round 11 of the Hyundai A-League played at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 3-1 by Melbourne Victory in Round 11 of the Hyundai A-League played at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Despite dominating large portions of the game, lapses in concentration in the second stanza let the Melbournians back into the match after Newcastle had gone to the break a goal to the good.

Indeed, it was Labinot Haliti who put Newcastle one up with an accurate angled effort in the 22nd minute. Having been played in by a slide rule pass from right back Tarek Elrich, the crafty attacker lifted the ball over the onrushing Glen Moss to give the Jets the goal their early dominance had warranted.

Despite taking the lead Newcastle continued to claim their share of the attacking territory and were desperately unlucky not to extend their advantage.

Former Victory player Kaz Patafta, new English recruit Michael Bridges and Haliti looked especially dangerous, while centre back Ben Kantarovksi had a goal disallowed for offside.

Halftime couldn-t have come at a worse time for the Jets, with Victory seeming to steady at the break while the Jets lost the momentum they had manufactured.

With Mate Dugandzic having replaced Ney Fabiano for Melbourne and Iraqi international Ali Abbas coming on for the impressive Patafta, front man Archie Thompson began to find spaces in the Newcastle defence.

Receiving a precision ball from Carlos Hernandez just after the hour, Thompson controlled brilliantly before clinically chipping Kennedy in the Newcastle goal.

With parity having been restored to the match, Newcastle were instantaneously keen to take the lead again and almost did so on 65 minutes. Again in the thick of the action, Haliti-s shot was palmed away for a corner by Moss after Bridges strike had been smothered by Rodrigo Vargas.

On 73 minutes it was the combination of Elrich and Haliti again that almost unlocked the Victory defence. With Elrich floating a ball into the box, Haliti nodded towards goal however the underside of the cross bar this time came to Melbourne-s aid.

The Jets were made to rue their luck in the 79th minute when Tom Pondeljak followed in a stinging Hernandez drive that Kennedy could only manage to palm onto the woodwork. With the goal gaping, Pondeljak had the simplest of tasks to finish into an unguarded net.

Having provided two assists, Costa Rican international Hernandez then made the points safe for Melbourne in the 84th minute with a low drive under Kennedy from an acute angle.

Branko Culina was disappointed his team let the three points slip having dominated the majority of the game, but praised Melbourne-s quality across the park.

“It-s a credit to them, they are a quality side, that-s why they are they are where they are,” Culina said.

“They play football and they-ve got individuals who can take advantage”.

He also recognised the contribution of Englishmen Bridges on his home debut.

“(Bridges) brought people into the game, we knew he-d do that when we brought him here,” Culina explained.

The Jets will return to EnergyAustralia Stadium next Friday, 23 October to take on fierce local rivals the Central Coast Mariners.

Match details:

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Adam D-APUZZO (9. Sasho PETROVSKI 80-), 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Jin-Jung SONG, 8. Matthew THOMPSON (c), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 14. Michael BRIDGES, 17. Fabio VIGNAROLI, 22. Kaz PATAFTA (26. Ali ABBAS 59-), 25. Labinot HALITI

Unused substitutes: 30. Dion SHAW (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO

Yellow cards: Thompson 4-, D-Apuzzo 78-

Red cards: Nil

Melbourne Victory: 20. Glen MOSS (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT, 5. Surat SUKHA (6. Leigh BROXHAM 65-), 7. Matthew KEMP, 8. Grant BREBNER, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11. Ney FABIANO (3. Mate DUGANDZIC 45-), 12. Rodrigo VARGAS, 15. Tomislav PONDELJAK (13. Nathan ELASI 82-), 16. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 23. Adrian LEIJER

Unused substitutes: 1. Mitchell LANGERAK (gk)

Yellow cards: Brebner 45+1-

Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 1 (Haliti 22-)

Melbourne Victory: 3 (Thompson 62-, Pondeljak 79-, Hernandez 84-)

Referee: Ben WILLIAMS

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