Bleiberg: We deserved to lose

Gold Coast boss Miron Bleiberg says his side deserved to lose after Newcastle produced a dramatic penalty shoot-out win in their Hyundai A-League final at Skilled Park on Saturday night.

Gold Coast boss Miron Bleiberg says his side deserved to lose after Newcastle produced a dramatic penalty shoot-out win in their Hyundai A-League final at Skilled Park on Saturday night.

When a scoreless 120 minutes couldn't separate the sides, the match moved onto penalties and after a miss from Kristian Rees kept the Jets alive, the stage was set for goalkeeper Ben Kennedy, who dived the right way to save Zenon Caravella's spot-kick.

A disappointed Bleiberg was the first to concede defeat after the match last night, giving credit to Newcastle's determined approach.

"If you look at it in the balance of power it might surprise you, but I think we deserved to be on the losing side," he said.

"Not because of what happened on the field, but I think for Newcastle to come to the Gold Coast and play against a full team in full shape, and with the quality they had on the field."

"In the end to hold us for nil-nil maybe they deserved it, they fought like mad dogs."

On the flip-side Newcastle coach Branko Culina was full of praise for his custodian Kennedy and said the Jets would continue to ride their luck throughout the finals series.

"The longer the game went on the more we felt we could get something out of it," Culina said.

"The idea was to hold them out in the first half and then we always knew that the pressure would be on them and not us."

"You know we rode our luck, this man here (Ben Kennedy) had a super game and credit to him, he was absolutely superb."

"Again you need that bit of luck, Gold Coast probably ran out of ideas for most parts of the game and maybe we caught them at the right time because they were a bit down on form."

Given the underdog tag earlier in the week, Culina admitted that finishing sixth suited the Jets and hinted that there was more to come from his side during the finals.

"I wouldn't read too much into our performance over the past couple of weeks, because once we knew we couldn't get a home final we felt that finishing sixth would suit us, because it was a matter of either Sydney or Gold Coast," he said.

"The Perth and the Wellington trips are demanding but we've got two weeks to get ready and we'll have a few players who did it tough tonight that will have a game under their belt."

"As Napoleon said when he was selecting his generals, 'I'm not interested in how good you are it's how lucky you are' and may the luck continue … we'll take it all the way to the Grand Final."

Newcastle's next hurdle will be the winner of Sunday-s second knockout clash between Wellington and Perth.