Hyundai A-League Game of the Season: Jets’ stunning win over Sydney FC
The Newcastle Jets were the Cinderella story of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season and went agonisingly close to becoming the first team to go from wooden spooners to Champions in just 12 months.
Ernie Merrick instilled a positive, attack-minded philosophy to a team which hadn’t made the Finals Series for seven consecutive seasons.
And while pundits tipped the Jets to be in the mix for the top six under the Scotsman, no one expected the Hunter-based outfit to finish second behind only Graham Arnold’s Sydney FC.
But fast-forward to the end of the season and suddenly Newcastle were just 90 minutes from a second A-League Championship.
Merrick’s side ultimately fell short in a controversial Grand Final against Victory but the Jets hadn’t lost any fans in a year to remember.
We recently asked fans to choose the best game of the 2017/18 season and it’s perhaps no surprise that a game involving Newcastle was the overwhelming choice among the punters.
The Jets’ remarkable win over Sydney FC in Round 22 was the clear winner among the fans’ votes, picking up more than 58% of the total.
It was first versus second heading into Round 22 with Newcastle desperately needing at least a point to keep their Premiership hopes alive against a rampaging Sydney FC.
After starting brightly on home soil, disaster struck for Newcastle with Irishman Roy O’Donovan shown a straight red card inside the opening 15 minutes.
But buoyed by a huge home crowd, a 10-man Newcastle went on to produce one of the most courageous performances in A-League history to stun the reigning Champions.
A hungry Jets outfit took the lead just prior to the break with Dimi Petratos converting from the penalty spot.
Sydney FC grabbed an equaliser just after half-time through Bobo before a stunning long-range striker from Andrew Nabbout fired the Jets ahead less than five minutes later.
Newcastle then defended stoutly and saw off a late Sydney fightback to record one of the best wins in their club’s history.