Luckless Jets downed by late Roar strike

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated by the Queensland Roar 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium this evening.

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated by the Queensland Roar 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium this evening.

The controversial send-off of Jets midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse opened the way for the Roar to score their first ever win against Newcastle at home, and the winner came through a last-gasp goal to striker Sergio Van Dijk.

It was the visitors who started the brighter though, as they set out their stall to attack in numbers and took a deserved lead in the 26th minute through Joel Griffiths, who returned to the starting line-up after serving a two match suspension. It was Griffiths- eighth goal in ten games against Queensland, and was reward for the Jets- early dominance.

Griffiths was played in by a delightful through-ball from Wheelhouse and finished with aplomb, chipping the on-rushing Liam Reddy and nestling the ball in the back of the net.

The home team were on the back foot, and Roar coach Frank Farina was forced to make a tactical switch in the 37th minute, bringing on youngster Mitch Nichols for experienced defender Andrew Packer.

It was a change which made an almost immediate impact, as Nichols wrote his name on the scoresheet in first half injury time. Livewire midfielder Matt McKay put the ball on a plate for Nichols, swinging in a superb ball to the far post which the unmarked youngster duly dispatched to send the sides into the break deadlocked at 1-1.

After the interval, Griffiths nearly doubled his tally, this time being played clean through by Tarek Elrich. The Jets- talisman then rounded Reddy, before having his shot deflected out by a last-ditch challenge by Roar captain Craig Moore.

However, it was to be a tackle in the 70th minute of the game that would attract most attention when Wheelhouse slid-in on a mazy Tahj Minniecon run. Wheelhouse seemingly missed contact with Minniecon altogether, but was shown his second yellow card by referee Ben Williams regardless.

The ensuing red card left the determined Novocastrians down to 10-men for the remainder of the game, but it appeared that their dogged defending and strong work ethic would result in a competition point. That was until Van Dijk broke their hearts in the first minute of injury time.

It was another fantastic cross which set-up the Roar winner, this time from Danny Tiatto from the left side of the pitch. Van Dijk positioned himself well at the near post, attacked the ball, and volleyed home with his left foot to send the Queensland faithful into raptures.

Head coach Gary van Egmond believed his side were a somewhat unlucky not to have maintained their unbeaten run at Suncorp Stadium

“I thought we definitely could have got something out of the game on another night, and if things had gone slightly differently.”

“At the same time though, the boys worked hard, but it-s difficult when you-re a man down on the pitch.”

“Who knows, if we-d had eleven players on the field for the full ninety minutes we might have got what we were looking for in regards to the result but unfortunately that wasn-t to be tonight,” van Egmond said.

The Jets will return home this week to take on high-flying Melbourne Victory at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday night.

Match Details:
Queensland Roar Squad. 1.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Andrew PACKER (17.Mitch NICHOLS 37-), 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Craig MOORE (c), 5.Josh McCLOUGHAN, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK (14.Ben GRIFFIN 90+3-), 12.Tahj MINNIECON (21. Thomas OAR 73-), 15.Matthew McKAY, 18. Danny TIATTO

Unused substitutes: 20.Griffin McMASTER (gk)

Yellow cards: Danny Tiatto 29-

Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets Squad. 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS, 3. Jade NORTH (c), 5. James HOLLAND (29. Sean ROONEY 89-), 8. Matt THOMPSON (24. Marko JESIC 72-), 9. Joel GRIFFITHS, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 13. Adam D-APUZZO, 16. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 26. Mark MILLIGAN

Unused substitutes: 14. Shaun ONTONG, 30. Justin PASFIELD (gk)

Yellow cards: Jobe Wheelhouse 11-/70-, Jade North 71-

Red cards: Jobe Wheelhouse 70-

Queensland Roar: 2 (Nichols 45+1-, Van Dijk 90+1-)
Newcastle Jets: 1 (J. Griffiths 26-)
Crowd: 11,048
Referee: Ben Williams