Ugarkovic’s late stunner edges Jets past Melbourne City in Newcastle
Steven Ugarkovic scored a spectacular long-range goal as Newcastle Jets recorded an upset 2-1 win over Melbourne City on Monday night.
Ugarkovic’s howitzer – just his seventh Hyundai A-League goal in 114 appearances - came 12 minutes from time to ensure the Jets bounced back from their loss to Brisbane Roar on Friday night.
In an evenly-contested battle at McDonald Jones Stadium, the Jets took a 1-0 lead to the break thanks to Nick Fitzgerald’s first goal for the club.
But City increased the pressure and their quality after the break and deservedly drew level, with substitute Florin Berenguer nodding in at the far post with 20 minutes left.
Neither side was content to settle for a point, with Ugarkovic coming up with a piece of individual brilliance to settle the contest.
The Jets remain in ninth spot on the ladder but have closed to within three points of the top six, while City missed the chance to close the gap on league-leaders Sydney FC.
There was a nice touch in the final minutes as veteran Jets keeper Glen Moss - who is retiring at the end of the season - came off the bench for what was his 250th appearance in the Hyundai A-League.
O’Donovan squanders excellent chance
After City dominated the early exchanges it was the home side that had the best sight of goal in the first 15 minutes.
Dimitri Petratos made a driving run from midfield before picking out Roy O’Donovan with a sensational pass from the right.
The ball made it’s way to the Irishman at the back post but he couldn’t get enough on his attempt and it went wide of the post.
O’Donovan inches away from a worldie
Connor O’Toole was enjoying his debut for the Jets and it was one of his forays forward that almost ended with a goal of the season contender
The Australian U-23 left-back did superbly to fashion a cross from the corner, with the ball finding it’s way through to O’Donovan.
The striker’s first touch flicked the ball up and he went with an acrobatic overhead kick which went just over the bar.
Fitzgerald gets the breakthrough
Just as it looked like the sides would go to the sheds all square, Fitzgerald broke through in first-half stoppage time.
Petratos’ inch-perfect through ball found the attacker, who cut inside both Harrison Delbridge and Scott Jamieson before producing a clinical finish past Tom Glover.
Sub Berenguer fires City level
It took just seven minutes after coming off the bench for Berenguer to find the equaliser.
The Frenchman started the move, lofting a clever lofted pass to Craig Noone on the right and then making a run into the box.
Noone got the ball onto his favoured left foot and swung in a cross to the back post where Berenguer was on hand to nod past Lewis Italiano.
Unbelievable Ugarkovic restores Newcastle’s lead
There appeared little danger when Ugarkovic picked up possession about 30 yards from goal.
But City’s defence stood off the midfielder and he decided to try his luck, slamming a sensational strike towards goal which Glover got a hand on but it wasn’t strong enough to keep it out.