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Roar held to home draw by Jets

Despite dominating the contest, Brisbane Roar were unable to completely break down a stubborn Newcastle Jets, with early goals to the visitors enough to lock-up a 2-2 draw at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

The Jets held a 2-1 lead at half time, but an own goal in the 69th minute ensured both sides would walk away with a share of the points.

Coming off a resurgent 4-0 win over the Mariners last week, John Aloisi saw no reason to make any changes to his squad, with the same eleven in the starting side and an identical array of players on the substitutes bench.

Scott Miller, too, saw little reason to make any adjustments to his team after a 2-1 win over Melbourne City at home last week. Hoping to further the Jets’ unsurpassed A-League away record at Suncorp Stadium, the Newcastle manager opted simply to add Ben Kantarovski for Cameron Watson on the bench.

Miller would’ve been happy with the first few minutes of play, with the Jets controlling the vast majority of possession. However, just five minutes into the contest, the home side took an early advantage.

A purposeful run from Dimitri Petratos allowed Brandon Borrello to escape in behind Nick Cowburn, who was playing on the left side of defence. After gathering the ball, the newly re-signed Roar forward tried to cut in behind Cowburn, with the Jets defender deemed by the referee to have fouled Borrello as he went to ground.

With Henrique on the bench, Jamie Maclaren stepped up to take the spot kick duties and, despite Mark Birighitti saving the initial shot, Maclaren made no mistake as he thumped home the rebound.

It was almost 2-0 just minutes later, but an audacious attempted volley at the back post by Petratos could only find the side netting.

Match Details Full match details »


Goal6′ J.MaclarenYellow Card19′ C.BrownOwn Goal69′ E.Alivodic


Goal15′ M.CooperPenalty19′ M.Trifunovic (Pen)
Yellow Card37′ M.PoljakYellow Card86′ B.Kantarovski

After a quarter of an hour, though, the game would be back on level standing.

After some well-worked lead-up by Milos Trifunovic on the right, Enver Alivodic put in a cross with his left boot toward the penalty spot. Mitch Cooper was ready for that delivery, attacking the ball and flicking it on with his head past Michael Theo and into the far corner.

The goal was Cooper’s first as a Newcastle Jets player, having only one previous A-League goal to his name during his time at the now-defunct Gold Coast United.

The game had taken a sharp turn, and the Jets would take the lead from the penalty spot in the 19th minute.

A lofted ball across the face of the Roar penalty area seemed destined to be cleared but Corey Brown’s misjudged his diving header, with the young defender only managing to handle the ball and give referee Kris Griffiths-Jones the easiest of penalty decisions.

Trifunovic stepped up and sent Theo the wrong way, registering his 9th goal of the season and, impressively, his fifth from his last five starts.

Brisbane weren’t without their chances after the successful penalty, as the likes of Maclaren, Borrello and Petratos went in search of a pre-half time equaliser. Petratos, in particular, went close in the 42nd minute, but his snap shot from a dangerous Borrello cross flew just wide of the far post.

Despite the forward pressure, however, the Jets were resolute in defence and maintained their 2-1 lead by the time Griffiths-Jones signalled for half time.

There was more of the same after the break, with Brisbane dominating the vast majority of the game.

The Roar’s first real chance of the half came from a precise Thomas Broich ball over the top of the Jets defence to Borrello in the 54th minute. Borrello chested the ball down and, if not for a last minute intervention from Cowburn, would’ve had a clear, one-on-one chance against Birighitti.

The equaliser eventually — and inevitably — came in the 70th minute, leaving both sides with the final twenty minutes to search for a winner.

After Matt McKay found Corona just outside the box, a run by Jade North into the penalty area was well rewarded by the Spaniard. The defender’s subsequent ball across the face of goal took a substantial deflection off a sliding Alivodic, beating Birighitti and sneaking in at the back post.

Mateo Poljak almost reclaimed the lead for the Jets in the 74th minute, but his curling effort — with the aid of a small deflection — found the upright and ricocheted out for a corner. Then, minutes later, a fingertip save by Birighitti onto the post denied substitute Steve Lustica at the other end of the park.

Some late set pieces and a scramble in the box from Brisbane required the intervention of Birighitti and the rest of his defence, but that was as close as either team would come to a winner, with the game ending in what was a thoroughly entertaining 2-2 draw.

Brisbane now face a trip to Perth to face the Glory next Saturday, whilst the Jets host the floundering Phoenix at Hunter Stadium.


Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Season’ Votes
3 Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar)
2 Mark Birighitti (Newcastle Jets)
1 Jade North (Brisbane Roar)

About the author

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

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