Brisbane Roar beaten by Taggart penalty
Brisbane's curious hoodoo against Newcastle continued on Sunday as the first-placed Roar went down for the third time this season to the Jets.
Brisbane's curious hoodoo against Newcastle continued at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday as the first-placed Roar went down for the third time this season to the ninth-placed Jets.
An Adam Taggart goal from the penalty spot just before the hour mark was enough to secure a 1-0 win for Newcastle, who came into the game against the table-toppers having not won any of their previous seven games.
The Jets' last victory, in fact, came the last time they played Mike Mulvey's side back in December.
The game took on the pattern of the teams' previous two encounters this season, with Brisbane dominating possession but struggling to break down a compact Jets defence.
Two key battles helped decide the contest; with Brisbane's playmaker Thomas Broich – in his 100th A-League game - unable to get the better of his marker Josh Brillante, while up the other end Shane Stefanutto had plenty of issues containing the lively James Virgili.
The Roar found some joy early in the match, however, by probing down the flanks, with an Ivan Franjic cross from the right arriving at the feet of Besart Berisha, whose stinging shot towards the top corner was saved by Mark Birighitti.
Moments later Broich centered from the left but Berisha just failed to reach the ball with his head from inside the six yard box.
Newcastle created an excellent chance after 25 minutes when Ruben Zadkovich lofted a pass to Josh Mitchell, who nodded it down for Taggart to shoot wide.
Virgili made a good run down the right as the Jets exploited a high Brisbane line, before cutting back to Taggart, whose effort was this time blocked by Michael Theo.
The last chance of the first half fell to the Roar's Dimitri Petratos after an extended period of Roar pressure, but the midfielder could not beat Birighitti after creating space for himself in the box.
The home side continued to push forward after the break, and Luke Brattan almost sneaked a free kick inside the near post after Broich had been fouled 25 metres out.
The Jets' right-back Brillante won a penalty for his side just before the hour mark when he rounded Stefanutto and drove towards the penalty box before the Roar defender brought him down.
Taggart made no mistake from the spot, rolling the ball into the bottom, left corner to give Newcastle the lead against the run of play.
Virgili almost doubled the advantage three minutes later when he skinned Stefanutto with a clever flick, but he lashed his effort just wide of the far post.
The Roar went into all-out attack mode and it nearly paid off when Luke Brattan played in Henrique with a delightful pass, but the Brazilian hit the upright when he really should have done better.
A looping Henrique header was the only other clear chance created by Brisbane in the closing minutes, as Newcastle held on with relative ease against a side who have made a habit of scoring late goals this season.
Brisbane Roar 0
Newcastle Jets 1 (Taggart 59 pk)
Crowd: 13,066 @ Suncorp Stadium