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Jets, Reds finishes scoreless again

Newcastle and Adelaide have played out a tight match in the A-League tonight, with the 0-0 result echoing the score between the two sides in round 7.

Despite both sides striking the woodwork at least once, neither were able to break down the other’s defence to find a winning goal.

Scott Miller would’ve been looking for a positive response from his team after they were embarrassed 4-0 on their home turf by Melbourne City last Sunday.

In response, Miller brought in captain Nigel Boogaard, Nick Cowburn and Ryan Kitto to his starting line-up. Brazilian forward Leonardo was excluded from the squad altogether, while Korean full back Lee Ki-Je was absent as he travelled home to complete a move to K-League team Ulsan Hyundai.

The visitors — and manager Guillermo Amor — decided on an unchanged starting XI, with Osama Malik having to be content with a place on the bench on his return from a hamstring injury.

Early on, it seemed as if it would be a case of Adelaide by how much, with the Reds dominating the opening half hour of play. Sergio Cirio, in particular, was looking dangerous down the right wing, particularly when combining with Marcelo Carrusca and James Jeggo.

Goodwin and Cirio almost combined for the opener after 10 minutes, when the latter’s cross produced a diving header from the former. Unfortunately, Goodwin’s effort went wide of the near post.

Adelaide’s best chance came in the 17th minute, after Isaias’ beautifulyl lofted ball over the Jets defence found Cirio, who cut back to Dylan McGowan. The defender decided to take a touch, giving the Jets defence enough time to close him down and concede just a corner.

Two minutes later, and Carrusca would go the closest of all the Reds, with his free kick thumping back off the crossbar.

From there, though, the home side started to work their way back into the game. In particular, former Reds youngster Ryan Kitto was causing headaches for the Reds’ back four.

Kitto had every reason to believe he’d won a free kick right on the edge of the box in the 37th minute, after he was clipped on his way through. The young forward somehow managed to keep his feet before being dispossessed, with referee Kris Griffiths-Jones quizzically not awarding the original free kick despite a lack of advantage.

Two minutes later, and with half time approaching, the Jets almost took the lead. A clever little chip from Milos Trifunovic across the penalty area found the onrushing Mateo Poljak, whose powerful header ricocheted back off the upright before being poked wide on the follow-up.

The second half provided too few chances for the neutral, with neither team able to penetrate the opposing side’s defensive line with any purpose.

Carrusca and Jeggo both had half chances for the Reds around the hour mark, but both were unable to get past Birighitti in the Jets’ goal.

The more experienced among the Jets line-up tried to spark their side into action, with Trifunovic going close after 70 minutes before David Carney’s snap-shot from a Ben Kantarovski cut-back went comfortably wide of Eugene Galekovic’s goal.

A 78th minute free kick to Adelaide gave Carrusca another chance from the set piece, and like it did in the first half, the frame of the goal was to have a say. From inches outside the penalty area, the Argentinian’s effort curled over the wall and bounced back off the inside of the right upright, allowing the Jets to clear once again.

A shot on the turn from substitute Bruce Djite in the 82nd minute, after a bustling run up the wing from Tarek Elrich, seemed destined to find the net, but Birighitti was again expertly positioned to block the chance and allow his defence to recover.

Elrich was in the thick of the action again in the 86th minute, but this time in a defensive capacity. After Kantarovski played in Braedyn Crowley on the right side of the box, Elrich was on the spot to slide in and block the young striker’s shot.

Djite’s low stinging shot produced another great save out of Birghitti as the game entered stoppage time, but neither team would go any closer to breaking the deadlock.

Nil-all was perhaps not a surprising result for two teams who sit at the foot of the ‘goals scored’ statistic this season, but the result does little to assist either in their aim of edging closer to the top 6.

The Jets now head to Wanderland on Christmas Eve to face high-flying Western Sydney, whilst Adelaide host the Wellington Phoenix on Boxing Day.


Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Season’ Votes
3 Nigel Boogaard (Newcastle Jets)
2 Sergio Cirio (Adelaide United)
1 Mark Birighitti (Newcastle Jets)

About the author

avatarJustin is a passionate football fan, and the Editor-in-chief of Ultimate A-League.

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