Heart shoot down Jets
A spectacular goal from Nick Kalmar and a late penalty to Gerald Sibon has handed the Melbourne Heart a 2-0 win over a rusty Newcastle Jets at Port Macquarie Regional Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A spectacular goal from Nick Kalmar and a late penalty to Gerald Sibon has handed the Melbourne Heart a 2-0 win over a rusty Newcastle Jets at Port Macquarie regional Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Jets management had worked hard during the work to re-schedule the Round 12 match to be played at the NSW north coast town after the surface at EnergyAustralia Stadium was ruled unfit for play, but it was the Heart who had the better of play throughout the match, while the Jets looked out of touch playing in their first match in over a month.
The win was the first away victory for the Heart and lifts them into fifth spot while the Jets are anchored down near the bottom of the table with just one win so far this season.
Melbourne had the first shot on goal in the 11th minute when Kalmar unleashed from long range only to see Newcastle goalkeeper Ben Kennedy swallow up the ball.
Just a minute later Kennedy used his body well to save a shot from point-blank range after Gerald Sibon had played in Adrian Zahara on the edge of the six-yard box.
The Jets had their first chance 20 minutes in when Kasey Wehrman fired a curling free-kick into the box from 30 metres out only to see Nikolai Topor-Stanley glance his header wide of the far post.
Kennedy was again forced to make a desperate save when Heart skipper Matt Thompson found himself with the ball just 10 yards out and right in front of goal after a corner, but the former Jet poked a low left-foot shot and Kennedy was able to claim the ball.
The visitors continued to make the better of the running and Heart midfielder Rutger Worm shot wide from distance in the 38th minute before the Jets created their best opportunity just a minute later.
Midfielder Ben Kantarovski released Ali Abbas down the left wing. He got the ball inside to Ruben Zadkovich who made good space for himself but shot wide from the edge of the area.
Abbas again showed his guile to place the ball on a plate for Marko Jesic who screwed his shot wide of the target from the edge of the box and the sides headed to half-time locked at 0-0.
The Heart grabbed the opening goal just eight minutes into the second half when Worm fired a cross into the box. Topor-Stanley cleared for the Jets but only as far as Josip Skoko who headed the ball back into the area where Kalmar hooked an acrobatic shot over his shoulder and into the top corner of the net.
The Heart almost doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Wayne Srhoj released Worm into space but he squirted his shot from inside the box just wide of the far post.
Just two minutes later Kennedy kept the Jets in the match when he was forced to make a full-stretched diving save after Srhoj attempted to lob the Jets custodian with an effort from the middle of the park.
Both sides made changes with Kaz Patafta and Sasho Petrovski coming on for Marko Jesic and Ben Kantarovski respectively while Eli Babalj replaced Kalmar in the Heart line-up.
Newcastle threw everyone forward in the final minutes and substitute Marcello Fiorentini went closest when he fired over the crossbar from 25 yards out.
The Jets were made to pay for their all-out attack when Tarek Elrich brought down Babalj in the box after a speedy counter-attack and referee Kris Griffiths-Jones had no hesitation to award the penalty.
Sibon stepped up to send Kennedy the wrong way and secure a well-deserved 2-0 win.
Newcastle Jets 0 Melbourne Heart 2 (Kalmar 53, Sibon 90+4pen)