Sydney FC continued their unbeaten run against the Jets in Newcastle on Saturday, and kept their watertight defence intact, making it four Hyundai A-League matches and four Westfield FFA Cup matches without conceding.
The Sky Blues dominance over Newcastle also continued as their unbeaten record against the home side reached 11 matches. The Jets were left to rue missed opportunities in front of a healthy home crowd of 11,873.
It was the visitors who dominated the opening half and it didn’t take long for the Sky Blues to take the lead. Milos Ninkovic dinked a pinpoint chip over the top of Newcastle’s defence for his captain Alex Brosque to run onto, control, and drive with his left foot past Jack Duncan and into the bottom right corner.
That strike made it 12 goals in 24 matches against the Jets for the veteran striker – the most goals he has scored against any Hyundai A-League club.
But, Sydney’s strong work didn’t stop there. A minute later Matt Jurman put a back-post volley over the bar and less than 30 seconds later the visitors had another golden chance. Filip Holosko did all the hard work in rounding Jets’ keeper Jack Duncan, but the angle was too tight from the left and his shot could only find the side netting – much to the home fans’ relief.
Sydney FC continued to dominate field position in the first half, but, it was the Jets who would finish the half the stronger.
First, it was Jason Hoffman’s cross in the 40th minute which was just headed wide by Sydney defender Alex Wilkinson, before the ball fell to Jets’ leading scorer Nigel Boogaard in a goal-mouth scramble. Boogaard couldn’t get enough power on his shot and it trickled to Danny Vukovic.
Steven Ugarkovic was then left to rue a guilt-edged chance just before the break, when Andrew Hoole ran down the right edge of the box and found Morten Nordstrand. The Dane – tight to the byline – swivelled away from goal and put his pass on a platter for Ugarkovic who fired wide from just to the right of the penalty spot.
Newcastle were left to rue that missed chance immediately after the break when Ninkovic made no mistake with his finish, after a shot from Holosko was parried out by Duncan into his path. Ninkovic drove his shot into the bottom right corner, as the Jets went down 2-0 for the second time in two weeks.
Former Sydney FC midfielder Andrew Hoole caused headaches for his former club down the left edge all afternoon but it wouldn’t be enough for the Jets.
Newcastle’s best chances of the second half fell to Hoole in the final minutes of the match, when his shot from close range was well saved by Vukovic as it seared towards the bottom left corner. Hoole then rounded Vukovic a minute later, but his touch was too heavy and he couldn’t get a shot away.
On a positive note for Newcastle, former Adelaide United Youth player Johnny Koutroumbis made his Hyundai A-League debut for the club when he came on for Ben Kantarovski in the 82nd minute.
Next weekend the Jets travel across the ditch to Wellington, where they will hope to make it four wins in a row against the Phoenix.
Newcastle Jets 0
Sydney FC 2 (Brosque 8’, Ninkovic 49’)
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Daniel Elder
Newcastle Jets: 3. Jason HOFFMAN, 4. Nigel BOOGAARD (C), 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI (28. Johnny KOUTROUMBIS 82’) 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 10. Wayne BROWN (9. Aleksandr KOKKO 70’), 13. Ivan VUJICA, 16. Nicholas COWBURN, 19. Morten NORDSTRAND, (23. Devante CLUT 79’) 20. Jack DUNCAN (gk),
Substitutes not used: 27. Caio DE GODOY, 30. Pierce Clark (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Sydney FC: 4. Alex WILKINSON, 5. Matt JURMAN, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE, 7. Michael ZULLO, 9. Bobô (18. Matt SIMON 79’) 10. Milos NINKOVIC (8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC 89’), 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 14. Alex BROSQUE (c) (17. David CARNEY 72’), 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21. Filip HOLOSKO, 23. Rhyan GRANT
Substitutes not used: 1. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 22. Sebastian RYALL
Yellow cards: Brosque 66’, Wilkinson 71’, Brillante 88’
Red cards: Nil