The Newcastle Jets were defeated 3-2 by Wellington Phoenix at Hunter Stadium on Sunday evening.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets were defeated 3-2 by Wellington Phoenix at Hunter Stadium on Sunday evening.
The Phoenix started the match in an encouraging fashion, with Tyler Boyd finding himself in space on the edge of the area inside the first 20 seconds of the contest, before hitting a low shot straight at Mark Birighitti.
Less than a minute later, Carlos Hernandez forced Birighitti into action once again with a stinging drive after Stein Huysegems had squared the ball to the Costa Rican who was in space at the top of the box.
The Jets responded well to the early onslaught, with Nick Ward rising well to meet Craig Goodwin-s free-kick to the back post in the 4th minute, only to see his header drift wide of the target.
A short time later, Andrew Hoole played in the in-form Adam Taggart, who took a touch past the on-rushing Glen Moss, before looking to cut the ball back to an unmarked Goodwin, only to see his pass intercepted.
The Jets nearly took the lead in the 10th minute of the contest, when Goodwin picked the ball up near halfway, beat a Phoenix defender before carrying the ball forward to the edge of the box where he hit a venomous shot that sailed over the crossbar.
The Phoenix opened the scoring in the 20th minute of the contest with Huysegems playing a ball into the feet of Hernandez, who was positioned at the top of the box.
Hernandez manoeuvred the ball back onto his right boot, before slotting a precise strike past Birighitti into the bottom corner of the net.
The Jets-s equaliser came just six minutes later, with Zenon Caravella collecting the ball just inside Wellington-s half, before skipping past a pair of Phoenix defenders and playing in Goodwin.
The left-winger crunched a powerful first-time shot with his left boot past Moss and into the roof of the net from just inside the penalty area to make it 1-1.
However, it was only eight minutes before the visitors were back in front, with Hernandez turning from score to provider, with a neat through ball to Huysegems.
The Belgian who worked the ball back onto his favoured left boot and neatly placed it in the bottom corner of the goal to give the Phoenix a 2-1 advantage heading into the half-time interval.
It only took two minutes after the break for the Jets to restore parity witch Goodwin again the goal scorer.
The former Melbourne Heart man picked up the ball up on the left flank, dribbled past Phoenix debutant Josh Brindell-South his man, cut back onto his right boot and curled a shot inside Moss- far post to make it 2-2.
Shortly after, Goodwin and Hoole both tried their luck with shots from outside the box, but neither player was able to test Moss.
Wellington almost regained their lead in the 53rd minute when Huysegems played in Caira, only for Birighitti to make himself big and smother the Phoenix youngster-s shot.
The visitors did eventually hit the front for the third and final time in the 71st minute, when Jason Hicks received the ball at the top of the box from Hernandez.
The second half substitute jinked right, before working the ball back onto his left boot and calmly slotting it past Birighitti to give the Phoneix a 3-2 lead.
Despite their best efforts, getting back on level-pegging for the third time proved too much of a mountain to climb for the Jets and Wellington took all three points with them back across the Tasman.
Newcastle Jets 2 (Goodwin 26-, 46-) Wellington Phoenix 3 (Hernandez 21-, Huysegems 33-, Hicks 71-)