Jets edge wasteful Wellington Phoenix to maintain premiership pursuit
Wellington Phoenix were left to rue a host of wasted chances as Newcastle Jets escaped with a 1-0 win in Auckland on Saturday.
Jason Hoffman netted the winner in the 43rd minute to at least momentarily reduce Sydney FC's lead back to five points.
The result marks Phoenix's first defeat in three games at QBE Stadium and they only have themselves to blame with Roy Krishna, Nathan Burns and Sarpreet Singh all guilty of squandering opportunities.
Ernie Merrick will be concerned by the way his side were regularly carved open, but Ronny Vargas' first appearance since Round 3 and the possibility of a push for the Premiers Plate offers plenty of comfort.
STORY OF THE GAME
- SAVE: Matija Ljujic threads Burns through on goal, but Jack Duncan narrows the angle and saves with his outstretched leg.
- CHANCE: Singh fails to make contact with Burns' promising ball across the face.
- CHANCE: Roles are reversed as Burns is unable to meet Singh's squared pass in a carbon copy moment.
- GOAL! Closing in on half-time, Hoffman stays alive in the area to notch the opener against the run of play late.
- MISS: Krishna gets away down the left and whips in a perfect low pass, but an unmarked Burns inexplicably side-foots wide.
- CLOSE: Ljujic opens up his body and curls a well-hit effort narrowly around the post.
- MISS: This time it's Krishna who finishes poorly in a one-on-one after Singh's through ball split a square defence.
- SAVE: Tando Velaphi shovels Dimitri Petratos' shot away from the bottom corner.
- POST: Angus Thurgate gets in on goal and dribbles a finish past Velaphi, whose fingertips are enough to direct it into the base of the post.
- SAVE: Duncan holds Dylan Fox's goal-bound header from a stoppage-time corner.
Jason Hoffman, Newcastle Jets 43': 0-1
Hoffman drives into the box from the right and sees an initial attempt blocked, before firing a follow-up volley that's too hot for Velaphi.