Melbourne Victory’s Hunter Stadium hoodoo has continued after the Hyundai A-League champions were beaten 1-0 by the Newcastle Jets on Friday night.
A smashing free-kick by David Carney 15 minutes from time proved the difference and means Victory are still waiting for their first triumph in Newcastle since October 2009.
In an open and entertaining contest, both sides had numerous chances to score, with Milos Trifunovic squandering a couple for the home side, while Besart Berisha hit the post in the first half for Victory.
But Carney’s sublime strike settled into to continue the Jets’ impressive start to the season and have them equal first on the ladder for 24 hours at least.
1-0 Carney (75’) – Carney won a free-kick just outside the box and seemed to move away to leave it for Brazilian Leonardo to take. But instead of striking at goal, Leonardo squared it to Carney and he did the rest, catching it sweetly and bending a shot away from Danny Vukovic into the top corner.
He was the hero in the derby last weekend but Besart Berisha hardly had a sniff against Newcastle’s central defenders. Returning skipper Nigel Boogaard and Daniel Mullen were close by whenever the Albanian got possession near the box. It meant an uncharacteristically quiet night for Berisha and as a result Victory were unable to find a goal some of their enterprising build-up play merited.
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The Jets have extended their unbeaten run at home against Victory to eight matches, last tasting defeat against them at Hunter Stadium more than six years ago. It was just the second time in the last 15 matches between the two clubs that Victory has failed to find the back of the net against Newcastle. The win was also Newcastle’s first on their home soil in 2015. Carney’s goal was the first time Danny Vukovic has conceded in games against the Jets in more than nine hours of action against them over the last few seasons.
Jets winger David Carney almost produced one of the goals of the season on the half hour mark with a clever and audacious piece of play. The home side were awarded a free-kick about 30 metres from goal and Carney spotted Victory ‘keeper Danny Vukovic standing well off his line. In a split second the ex-Socceroo put the ball down and let fly from distance but unfortunately for Carney his effort sailed just the wrong side of the post. While it came to nothing in the end, it was an ingenious attempt and had the Hunter Stadium crowd on their feet.
Both coaches would have been pulling their hair out – if Kevin Muscat had any hair – over a crazy piece of play on 18 minutes. Victory were awarded a free-kick just outside their box which defender Leigh Broxham tried to play square to Matthieu Delpierre, only for it to be intercepted by Jets striker Milos Trifunovic. It left the Serbian in front of goal with only Danny Vukovic to beat but he produced a tame effort which the Victory gloveman saved easily. It was a shocking miss for a player of his finishing ability.
THE FINAL WORD
Newcastle showed a lot more threat going forward this week which is another indication they are on the right path under rookie boss Scott Miller. The win over the champions will do wonders for their confidence too. They are in action again next Friday night, away at Melbourne City.
It was another frustrating trip to the Hunter for Victory, who just weren’t clinical enough over the 90 minutes. Muscat’s side now has a nine day break until they play again, hosting Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park on Monday, November 2.
Newcastle Jets: Kennedy, Hoffman, Mullen, Boogaard (c), Jackson (Cowburn 68’), Kantarovski, Poljak, Alivodic, Leonardo (Cooper 84’), Carney (Pavicevic 87’), Trifunovic
Melbourne Victory: Vukovic, Georgievski, Broxham, Delpierre, Murnane, Valeri (c) (Mahazi 68’), Bozanic, Finkler, Barbarouses, Ben Khalfallah (Pain 76’), Berisha
Scorers: Carney 75’
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Mullen 3’, Valeri 30’, Georgievski 45’, Delpierre 65’, Mahazi 82’, Pavicevic 90+1’, Broxham 90+1’
Conditions: 19C, Fine
Attendance: 10,087 @ Hunter Stadium