It’s become a home away from home and Suncorp Stadium remained a happy hunting ground for the Newcastle Jets, beating the Brisbane Roar 1 – 0 on Saturday night.
The win completes a clean sweep of the Roar for the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season.
A humid evening in Brisbane presented challenging conditions for both sides, as the Jets had the best of the match’s opening exchanges.
It was a frenetic start from both teams, as Riley McGree made his starting debut for the Jets – replacing the injured Pato Rodriguez in Ernie Merrick’s front four.
The young midfielder combined nicely with Andrew Nabbout and Dimi Petratos early on, creating havoc around the Roar’s penalty area – with a silky one-two almost giving Nabbout the opener.
Jamie Young was forced to do plenty of work in the opening exchanges, as he went on to another man-of-the-match performance as the Jets peppered the Roar custodian throughout the night.
It was only a couple of spectacular efforts from Young that would keep the home side in the match, as Hoffman and McGree both went close in the opening half.
Brisbane went close to stealing a goal just before the break, as they looked to take advantage of some recycled ball off an attacking free kick – with Franjic missing a headed chance from close range.
The first half finished with a clutch save from Jack Duncan, who shut down a charging Brett Holman to ensure both teams went to the break scoreless.
It was another stellar performance from the young keeper, who went on to collect another clean sheet – the club’s sixth for the season.
The Jets again looked the more likely after the break with a number of chances on goal; as McGree, Petratos, Nabbout and O’Donovan combined to put plenty of pressure on the Roar defence.
At the back Nigel Boogaard was pivotal in nullifying a couple of key chances for the home side, who despite absorbing plenty of pressure had opportunities to break the deadlock through Maccarone and Holman.
Dimi Petratos would have the second half’s best chances from an attacking free-kick, almost curling one into the top corner from long range, only to be denied by another spectacular effort from Young.
The deadlock was finally broken courtesy of Joe Champness – the beneficiary of a sublime through ball from Steven Ugarkovic – sealing the game with a powerful strike into the bottom corner.
It was a tense final ten minutes as the Roar searched for an equaliser, but the Jets held on for an important three points on the road as they go 8 points clear in second position.
11’ | 0 – 0 | Ohhh close call there! Hoff whips in a dangerous low cross after linking up with Petratos, which just evades the reach of an outstretched McGree in the area #BRIvNEW
13’ | 0 – 0 | CHANCE! Roy gets into space in the backfield, but his strike on goal is well-covered by Jamie Young, who managed to cut off the angle with the help of a trailing defender #BRIvNEW
18’ | 0 – 0 | CHANCE! What a build up! Nabbout linked with McGree at the top of the area with a silky one-two, his initial shot was blocked by Young as Roy put his follow up just wide of goal #BRIvNEW
30’ | 0 – 0 | CHANCE! Hoff fires a strike from wide in the penalty area after a sustained build up of pressure on the Roar defence – Young is forced into a diving save to keep scores level #BRIvNEW
31’ | 0 – 0 | SAVE! After Hoffman’s chance the Roar push up field quickly, with Duncan rushing of his line to cut off Khalfallah who was charging on goal #BRIvNEW
40’ | 0 – 0 | The Roar go close on an attacking free-kick, making use of some recycled ball after Duncan punched clear the initial ball in – Franjic’s header going just over the crossbar #BRIvNEW
45’+1’ | 0 – 0 | SAVE! Jack Duncan with a fantastic effort to deny Holman and keep scores level as the teams go to the sheds #BRIvNEW
54’ | 0 – 0 | CHANCE! McGree with a wicked strike at the top of the area forces Young into a diving save #BRIvNEW
57’ | 0 – 0 | Dimi tries his luck this time after Nabbout squared the ball to the top of the area, again Young is forced into a diving effort – chances coming thick and fast here! #BRIvNEW
74’ | 0 – 0 | BOOGAARD! What an effort from the skipper, tracking back to cut off the final pass to Maccarone in the area as he charged on goal #BRIvNEW
77’ | 0 – 0 | SO CLOSE! Dimi with a wonderful strike from the attacking free kick, as Young again saves the day for the hosts with another spectacular effort #BRIvNEW
79’ | 1 – 0 | GOAL! Champness! #BRIvNEW
79’ | 1 – 0 | The deadlock is broken courtesy of a brilliant effort from the young attacker, who was played in by Ugarkovic – timing his run in behind the Roar defence to perfection #BRIvNEW
Newcastle Jets: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Wayne BROWN, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 27.Riley McGREE 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
Subs: 13.Ivan VUJICA, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joseph CHAMPNESS, 32.Angus THURGATE
Subs Not Used: 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON
Goals: 24.Joseph CHAMPNESS (79’)
Brisbane Roar: 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 9.Massimo MACCARONE, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Eric BAUTHEAC, 77.Ivan FRANJIC
Subs: 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Corey BROWN, 11.Corey GAMEIRO 31.Brendan WHITE (gk), 33.Henrique SILVA
Subs Not Used: 4.Daniel BOWLES, 31.Brendan WHITE (gk)
Yellow Cards: 13.Jade NORTH (58’)