The Newcastle Jets have suffered just their third loss for the season, as Melbourne Victory took the three points at AAMI Park with a 2 – 1 win.
It was a tough night for the Jets, who fought gallantly against a Victory side that was out to atone their 4 – 1 defeat to the visitors some four weeks earlier.
Both sides started with real vigour, as the match went end-to-end in the opening exchanges.
Jason Hoffman secured the first goal scoring opportunity for the Jets, losing his defender and getting on the end of a beautiful long ball from Topor-Stanley – but his headed chance sailed wide of goal.
Topor-Stanley continued to thwart the Victory attack, combining superbly with Nigel Boogaard to keep Barbarouses, George and Berisha at bay.
Their early efforts would be to no avail, as Milligan, Geria and Barbarouses combined to get the hosts off the mark – with the later finding the back of the net with a curling strike into the top corner.
The Jets would return serve on the stroke of half time, to go the break all-square. Steven Urgarkovic showed his class with a pinpoint through ball to Jason Hoffman, who timed his run and strike to perfection to beat Lawrence Thomas and get his side on the scoresheet.
The Victory came out the stronger in the second stanza and went close to taking the lead on a few occasions – only to be crueled by the linesman.
Parity would not remain for long though, as Berisha found the goal after getting into the backfield following a Jets turnover.
The home side would get a chance from the spot soon after as Vujica and Geria tangled inside the area – with Chris Beath awarding what could only be considered a very soft penalty.
Milligan would take the honours for the home side, but his slow strike was covered by a diving Glen Moss to keep the lead to one goal.
The Jets continued to press for an equaliser in the final stages of the game, with Hoffman again finding himself in a goal-scoring position – only to see another header go wide.
Ultimately, the Victory would prove to strong for the visitors who remain understrength with Vargas, O’Donovan, Georgievski and Duncan on the sidelines.
The Jets will now travel to Sydney for a top-of-the-table clash with the Sky Blues.
1’ | 0 – 0 | Aaaand we’re off, big game ahead – c’mon lads! #MVCvNEW
6’ | 0 – 0 | Bravo, Topor! He reads the play beautifully to cut off a dangerous ball into the area #MVCvNEW
9’ | 0 – 0 | CHANCE! Hoffman goes close with a headed chance as Topor delivers a beautiful long ball into the area #MVCvNEW
18’ | 0 – 0 | CHANCE! Dimi stands up a couple of Victory defenders and delivers superbly into the area, but a charging Nabbout can’t get control the ball with a one-on-one in sight #MVCvNEW
25’ | 0 – 0 | Wonderful effort from Ivan Vujica as he cuts off a dangerous run from Barbarouses #MVCvNEW
33’ | 0 – 1 | Victory get off the mark through Barbarouses #MVCvNEW
45’ | 1 – 1 | GOAL! Hoffman! #MVCvNEW
45’ | 1 – 1 | Urgarkovic threads the needle with a stunning through ball, and under pressure Hoffman puts is past Thomas – great goal! #MVCvNEW
52’ | 1 – 2 | The Victory go back in front through Berisha #MVCvNEW
57’ | 1 – 2 | Victory awarded a penalty after Geria and Vujica tangle in the area #MVCvNEW
59’ | 1 – 2 | GLEN MOSS! Outstanding effort to stop Milligan’s spot kick #MVCvNEW
74’ | 1 – 2 | CHANCE! Hoffman goes close with a header after being left unmarked in the area #MVCvNEW
Newcastle Jets: 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Glenn MOSS, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
Subs: 10.Wayne BROWN, 12.Mario SHABOW, 16.Nick COWBURN, 22.Lachlan JACKSON
Subs Not Used: 16.Nick COWBURN, 30.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk)
Yellow Cards: 13.Ivan VUJICA (59’)
Red Cards: N/A
Goals: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (45+1’)
Melbourne Victory: 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Rhys WILIAMS, 5.Mark MILLIGAN, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 14.Thomas DENG, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI, 22.Stefan NIGRO, 41.Leroy GEORGE
Subs: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 16.Josh HOPE, 18.Matais SANCHEZ, 23.Jai INGHAM, 31.Christian THEOHAROUS
Subs Not Used: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 16.Josh HOPE
Yellow Cards: 10.James TROISI (80’), 4.Rhys WILIAMS (85’)
Red Cards: N/A
Goals: 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES (33’), 8.Besart BERISHA (53’)