A chilly Carrara was the setting on Tuesday night for the final game of the Surf City Cup, with Newcastle taking on Perth Glory.
Both sides had suffered losses to Brisbane – Perth 1-0 and the Jets 3-1 – so each was looking to finish their respective trips on a high.
That desire was evident from the outset, with both sides high in intensity in the opening ten minutes – Perth wingback, Kim earning himself a yellow card for a second cynical challenge inside those ten minutes.
It only took 11 for the scoring to be opened and it came from the free kick given away by Kim’s yellow card. From a wide position, Dimi Petratos hit it sweetly across the face of goal and onto the head of Ben Kantarovski.
The Jets number 5, starting in his first match since the FFA Cup Round of 32 win over Melbourne Victory in early August, connected with enough power to beat the outstretched hand of Tando Velaphi in the Glory goal to put the Jets into the lead.
The goal only upped the tempo, with both sides creating chances – Newcastle down the right through Matt Millar and Nick Fitzgerald, Perth down the left through the creative prowess of Diego Castro and Kim.
A golden opportunity to go in front presented itself after an attempted through ball took a deflection and put Nick Fitzgerald in behind, but the attacker’s attempted lob just went over the top.
Chances continued to flow and it looked like the Jets would go to the sheds ahead as the half wore down, but a coming together between Lewis Italiano and Joel Chianese earned Glory a penalty in the 43rd minute – which Neil Kilkenny converted in the 44th.
Just the one change at half-time with Pat Langlois replacing Nick Fitzgerald, and the side reshuffling to accommodate Langlois at left-back with Jason Hoffman heading north to play up top.
The second stanza wasn’t as frantic to begin as the first, with the first moment of note coming in the 55th minute when Arroyo was played in over the top, but the flag was up.
An offside flag ruled out a goal for Newcastle just past the hour mark, when an advancing Pat Langlois unleashed from outside the box. His shot hit Hoffman, who brought it down and buried it, but he was adjudged to have been offside.
Two more chances came the way of Arroyo, but the post and an errant radar denied him a third goal in Jets colours.
Substitutions among the Jets ranks saw Kosta and Maki Petratos, along with a trialist, enter the fray in place of Jason Hoffman, Matt Ridenton, and Abdiel Arroyo.
The Jets had a chance to wrap things up when Kosta played in brother Dimi over the top in the 86th minute, but Dimi’s shot went over and the game went to a penalty shoot-out having finished 1-1.
Lewis Italiano proved hero in the shoot-out, saving two penalties of Glory’s five to secure the win for the Jets.
The boys now head back down the coast, via Greater Bank JETS:PLAY clinics in Lismore and Coffs Harbour, before a four-day break from training.