Phoenix rain on Jets Christmas


The Newcastle Jets were defeated 5-2 by Wellington at Westpac Stadium on Friday night.

The Wellington Phoenix played the role of grinch in Wellington tonight as they outclassed and outplayed the Jets at Westpac Stadium 5-2.

The match was evenly matched for the first 15 minutes with each side getting a feel for how the other was playing.

The direction of the game changed on the 16th minute as the Phoenix went ahead when Sanchez slipped a beautiful ball past Jets keeper Ben Kennedy.

Wellington captain Andrew Durante came back to haunt the Jets with an impressive captain’s display and was very solid at the back.

Quick footwork from Wellington was the key difference, with the Jets providing far too much space on the sides much to the frustration of Ben Kennedy.

Chris Greenacre was a thorn in the Jets side with a 25 minute attempt denied thanks to some good defence from Tiago Calvano and Kennedy.

Little touches continued to go the Phoenix way with Daniel, Muscat and Geeenacre continually pressuring the Jets goal line.

Their pressure paid off in the 34th minute when Sanchez claimed his second goal getting past the defence of Calvano and it was simply a matter of waiting for the right time for the kick and the finish made it in to the back of the net.

Wellington continued the pressure and saw results again in the 40th minute as Leo Bertos found Topor-Stanley out of position, sending a spectacular pass across to an unmarked Greenacre who pushed the ball past Kennedy.

The Jets went into half time 3-nil. Gary van Egmond made two changes at half time with Michael Bridges replacing Francis Jeffers and Jeremy Brockie taking over from Ali Abbas.

A beautiful curling free kick from outside the box by Byun on 49 minutes gave the Jets a goal and some much needed spark.

A positive for the Jets was the performance of Michael Bridges in only his second game back; providing a steadying hand and focus for the attack in the second half.

But a Christmas comeback was not to be for the Jets.

Two time goal scorer Sanchez was replaced by Pavloic who made his presence felt immediately; scoring two goals in five minutes to put the Phoenix in the box seat with the scoreline 5-1.

Ryan Griffiths instilled some pride back in the side with a header in the 89th minute finding the back of the net. The goal was Griffiths’ sixth for the season.

The Newcastle Jets will need to get back to Australia early on Saturday morning and back to work ahead of their New Year’s Eve match against Perth Glory at Ausgrid Stadium at 4pm.

Match Details:

Newcastle Jets 2 (Byun 51-, Griffiths 89-)
Wellington Phoenix 5 (Sanchez 16′, 34′, Greenacre 40′, Pavlovic 74-, 77-)
Westpac Stadium
Crowd: 6471
December 23rd 5:30pm

Newcastle Jets: Kennedy, Topor-Stanley (Regan – 75), Calvano, Kantarovski, Zadkovich, Elrich, Byun, Abbas (Brockie – 46), Griffiths, Jeffers (Bridges – 46), Pepper.
Substitute not used: Nash