Jets take a point from six goal epic

The Newcastle Jets have drawn 3-3 away to Perth Glory tonight in a scintillating game at Members Equity Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have drawn 3-3 away to Perth Glory tonight in a scintillating game at Members Equity Stadium. A dramatic late equaliser to returning captain Jade North gave the Jets a share of the spoils after 90 minutes of fine attacking football from both teams.

The shots began to fly in early, and after 7 minutes Eugene Dadi knocked the ball down for lively Argentinean import Adrian Trinidad whose first-time volley was held well by Jets- custodian Ante Covic.

A penalty was then awarded in the 19th minute when talismanic striker Joel Griffiths was brought down by Dino Djulbic after getting in behind the Glory defence. For the second straight week Griffiths made no mistake from the spot and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to give the Jets a well deserved lead.

The Jets dominated possession and the tempo of the game throughout the opening exchanges, and in the 23rd minute James Holland played in Jin-Hyung Song in a promising attack. The Korean sensation beat his defender on the edge of the area but skewed his shot wide of the target.

10 minutes before the halftime break and Nikolai Topor-Stanley rose highest from a Glory corner forcing a great save by Covic. During the ensuing goalmouth scramble, defender Adam Griffiths was ruled to have fouled Trinidad resulting in a penalty to the home side. Trinidad finished confidently to level matters.

In the 37th minute, Song received an Edmundo Zura cross at the far post and turned Glory defender Hayden Doyle before unleashing a left-footed strike. The goal-bound effort was saved down low by Frank Juric in goal before Djulbic scrambled the ball away almost resulting in an own goal.

The first half was an exciting affair, with 15 shots on goal in total, and the second half would begin in a similar fashion with Jamie Coyne scoring an own goal only 4 minutes into the second stanza. A neat layoff by Joel Griffiths found Song who hit a low drive from 10 yards out. A deflection from captain Coyne left Juric with no chance, giving the Jets the lead for the second time in the game.

Minutes later and Brazilian midfielder Amaral set up Perth-s reply, knocking in a pinpoint right-footed cross to Dadi who headed home his first goal of the 2008/09 Hyundai A-League season.

What followed can only be described as a manic final period, beginning on the 81st minute when substitute Nikita Rukyvytsa scored after the ball broke to him in midfield. The young striker-s pace took him one-on-one with Covic before he finished superbly at the near post to give the home side the lead for the first time in the game.

With only 3 minutes of regular time remaining, Jets- right-back Tarek Elrich hit a thunderous strike from 30 yards out. Seemingly destined for the back of the net, the ball went inches wide of the post with Juric well beaten much to the agony of a Jets side desperate for an equaliser.

4 minutes into injury time and a dramatic final play unfolded at Members Equity Stadium when Elrich hit a hopeful long ball that was flicked on to North. On his return from the Beijing Olympics, North got in ahead of his fellow captain Jamie Coyne and touched the ball beyond Juric and into the net to seal a remarkable point for the Jets away from home.

Jets- Head coach Gary van Egmond stated after the game that he felt his team could have claimed all three points.

“I think it was a game of missed opportunities,” van Egmond said. “I feel, especially in the first half, that the game should have been dead and buried, but we invited them back into the game.”

Last season-s Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year also praised the performance of Jets- Marquee player Edmundo Zura.

“I thought he definitely had a much better game, he looked much more explosive and I think he-ll be very good for the Newcastle Jets this year,” said van Egmond.

Newcastle Jets Squad: 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS, 3. Jade NORTH (c), 5. James HOLLAND, 8. Matt THOMPSON, 9. Joel GRIFFITHS, 10. Jin-Hyung SONG, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE (18. Jobe WHEELHOUSE 69-), 13. Adam D-APUZZO, 23. Edmundo ZURA (7. Kaz PATAFTA 80-).

Unused Substitutes: 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 16. Ben KANTAROVSKI

Yellow Cards: 2. Adam Griffiths 63-, 3. Jade North 65-, 23. Edmundo Zura 69-.

Red Cards: Nil

Perth Glory Squad: 2.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 4.Jamie COYNE (c), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 9.Adrian TRINIDAD, 10.AMARAL, 11.Scott BULLOCH, 14.Eugene DADI (7. Nick RIZZO 85-), 15.Hayden DOYLE (5. Jamie HARNWELL 65-), 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 20.Frank JURIC (gk), 21.Mark LEE (13. Nikita RUKAVYTSYA 79-).

Unused Substitutes: 1. Jason PETKOVIC (gk)

Yellow Cards: 6. Dino Djulbic 19-.

Red Cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 3 (Joel Griffiths pen. 19-, Jamie Coyne (og) 49-, Jade North 90- + 4-)
Perth Glory: 3 (Adrian Trinidad pen. 35-, Eugene Dadi 58-, Nikita Rukavytsya 81-)
Referee: Craig Zetter
Crowd: 8,876