The Newcastle Jets' 2012/13 A-League campaign has come to an end after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Western Sydney on Friday.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets 2012/13 A-League campaign has come to an end after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
The Jets needed nothing less than a win to keep their hopes of qualifying for the A-League finals alive, but they took a significant blow when the Wanderers opened the scoring through Mark Bridge in the fifth minute.
Tarek Elrich-s switch of play picked out the run of Labinot Haliti on the left. Haliti hit a low ball back across the face of goal, which rolled all the way through to Bridge who had the easiest of tap-ins at the back post.
The Jets looked to respond in the seventh minute when Ruben Zadkovich drove a low free-kick from 25 metres out that forced Wanderers shot-stopper Ante Covic to make a low diving save.
The intensity of both teams matched the electric atmosphere at Hunter Stadium and it was the Wanderers fans who nearly had more to cheer about in the 23rd minute.
Yousouff Hersi skipped past his man on the right wing, before dribbling inside and firing a shot that flashed dangerously across the face of the Jets- goal.
The Jets had a chance to get a goal back when Craig Goodwin was brought down right on the edge of the Wanderers penalty area in the 27th minute.
Marko Jesic stepped up to take the free-kick, but he wasn-t able to lift it over the Wanderer-s defensive wall and test Covic.
Western Sydney doubled their advantage in the 34th minute with Bridge netting his second of the game.
Dino Kresinger-s flicked on header picked out Bridge-s clever run in behind the Jets defence, and the striker was able to finish, despite pressure from Connor Chapman and Mark Birighitti-s best efforts.
The Jets went close to getting a goal back just before half-time, but Goodwin-s cross from the left just eluded the head of Adam Taggart who had made a smart run to the near post.
At 2-0 down and with their season on the line, it was the home side who had the bulk of the chances early in the second half.
Goodwin beat his man on left before cutting back onto his right foot and curling a shot just wide of the goal.
Ruben Zadkovich had a couple tries from long distance, but wasn-t able to find the mark on either occasion. range, but was unable to hit the target
Second half substitute James Virgili showed great pace to beat his man on the right, before forcing a sharp reflex save out of Covic with a stinging left-footed shot.
After a plethora of near-misses, the Jets- best opportunity came in the 70th minute, when Emile Heskey contested a header with Nikolai Topor-Stanley and the ball fell into the path of Adam Taggart.
Taggart found himself in behind the Wanderers defence and looped a shot over the head of Ante Covic. With the keeper beaten, only the post was left to deny Taggart and the Jets from getting a goal back.
The Wanderers sealed the victory and the Premiers- Plate in the 79th minute with Rocky Visconte-s left-footed piledriver from 25 metres out cannoning into the back of the net.
Despite showing comittment right through until the end, the Jets were unable to get on the scoresheet and the Wanderers closed out the regular season with a 3-0 win.
Newcastle Jets 0 Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Bridge 5-, 34-, Visconte 79-)