An improved second half showing from the Newcastle Jets has seen them keep their first clean sheet of the season and play out a 0-0 draw with Sydney FC at WIN Stadium on Saturday night.After managing to hold out a rampant Sky Blues outifit who applied plenty of pressure during the first half, the Jets changed shape and picked up after the interval before coming close to stealing all three points.
WHAT THEY SAID
“It’s been the story of our season, we’ve been under the pump for a fair bit but the boys defended well and we got our first clean sheet of the season. It’s a positive for us and it’s a decent result away from home to get the draw.” – Jets ‘keeper Ben Kennedy
“We threw everything, had a lot of chances, there was some good saves, we hit the post, there’s not much else we could have done but score a goal. It’s really eluding us at the moment. A lot of its luck, we had a lot at the start of the season but it’s going against us now.” – Sydney skipper Alex Brosque
Sydney ‘keeper Vedran Janjetovic was rarely called upon in the first 55 minutes but a sloppy errors by the gloveman almost presented the Jets with a simple goal. Janjetovic looked like he would claim a David Carney corner easily, but the ball slipped through his hands, which gave Adrian Madaschi a glorious chance to score. The defender nodded the ball towards goal from just six yards out but Sky Blues skipper Alex Brosque was back on the line to head it clear.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
Sydney FC’s seven-game winless run is their worst run since the start of the 2010/11 season. Graham Arnold’s side have also gone more than six hours without scoring a goal, their last one coming in the 3-3 draw with Melbourne Victory. Newcastle, who have the worst defence in the Hyundai A-League, managed to keep their first clean sheet of the season.
We know Marc Janko has the ability to score some cracking goals but he outdid himself 12 minutes before the break. Picked out at the far post by Aaron Calver’s cross, Sydney’s marquee man hit a stunning first-time volley which went like a tracer-bullet past a despairing Ben Kennedy into the far corner of the net. It was a strike befitting any of the best leagues around the world but unfortunately incorrectly ruled out for off-side. While it didn’t count on the scoreboard it was a superb display of technique and power and brought the big crowd in Wollongong to their feet.
Jets striker Jeronimo Neumann appeared to dislocate his left shoulder when sliding in for a tackle with just eight minutes left. The club doctor managed to pop it back in almost immediately and given Newcastle had already made all three subs, the Argentine bravely played out the last few minutes in some discomfort.
THE FINAL WORD
Both sides will welcome the three-week break for the Asian Cup to give themselves a chance to re-group, bolster their squad and look to make a charge towards the finals in the second half of the season. Sydney FC have a trip to the Central Coast to play the Mariners on resumption on January 24, while the Jets travel to Adelaide on the same day.TEAMS
Sydney FC: Janjetovic, Calver, Ryall, Petkovic, Gersbach, Triantis, Grant (Naumoff 77’), Ibini, Dimitrijevic, Brosque, Janko
Newcastle Jets: Kennedy, Jaliens, Madaschi, Welsh, Virgili, (Montano 75’), Kantarovski (Pepper 73’), Caravella Carney, Hoole, Cooper (Griffiths 46’), Jeronimo
Red cards: none
Yellow cards: Cooper 23’, Caravella 64’, Jaliens 72’, Carney 78’, Hoole 82’
Conditions: 26C, HumidAttendance: 11,377 @ WIN Stadium