The Newcastle Jets defeated the Young Socceroos 2-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly match at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday.
After thrashing the Central Coast Mariners 5-1 earlier in the week, the Young Socceroos entered the contest full of confidence as they continued their preparations for the AFC U-19 Championships in Myanmar next month.
However, it was the Jets who wasted no time going on the offensive with Jonny Steele winning possession in the attacking third in the opening minute before sliding a pass through to Jeronimo who rattled the crossbar with his first-time shot.
A short time later, David Carney beat a pair of Young Socceroos defenders on the edge of the area, before firing a powerful left-footed drive that brought a superb diving save from Young Socceroos goalkeeper Anthony Bouzanis.
After dominating the early stages, the Jets eventually opened the scoring in the 18th minute Carney breaking clear down the left flank, before cleverly cutting the ball back to Jacob Pepper who drove the ball into the bottom corner from the top of the box.
The Jets doubled their lead in the 25th minute, with Carney again providing the assist.
This time the former Socceroo played a delightful chip over the top of the Young Socceroos defence that picked out Jeronimo’s perfectly-timed run, with the Argentine smartly finishing past Bouzanis to give Newcastle a 2-0 lead.
The Young Socceroos first clear-cut goal-scoring opportunity had to wait until after the half-time interval, with Adelaide United winger Awer Mabil breaking the offside trap before dragging his shot wide of Mark Birighitti’s goal in the 48th minute.
Half-time substitute Edson Montano brought another good save from Bouzanis in the 53rd minute after some fast footwork on the edge of the area allowed him to create enough space to fashion a shooting opportunity.
Jets trialist Robert Paratore entered the fray with 15 minutes remaining and went close to scoring the Jets’ third goal in the 81st minute, shooting just wide of the mark after a clever lay-off from Joel Griffiths.
The Young Socceroos scored a late consolation goal in the 89th minute after Sam Gallagher brought down Stefan Muak in the box.
Mauk stepped up to covert from the penalty spot to ensure the final score read 2-1 in favour of the Jets.
Newcastle Jets 2 (Pepper 18’, Jeronimo 25’)
Young Socceroos 1 (Mauk 89’ p)