McCormack denied winner as City claw to four-goal draw with Jets
Ross McCormack was denied a fairytale farewell despite Melbourne City twice coming from behind to rescue an entertaining 2-2 draw with Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Thurday night.
In what could prove his last match for the club, the on-loan striker had a goal-bound attempt for a dramatic winner cleared off the line in stoppage time.
It also completed a crucial turnaround for City, who trailed as early as the third minute and had young star Daniel Arzani and the in-form Dario Vidosic to thank for a pair of equalisers either side of half-time.
Ernie Merrick's men will be disappointed not to have preserved the lead Jason Hoffman restored in the 70th minute, although the deadlock is enough to keep them four points ahead of third-placed City.
STORY OF THE GAME
- GOAL! Newcastle burst out of the blocks, opening the scoring in just the third minute through Nikolai Topor-Stanley.
- CLOSE: Patricio Rodriguez, who provided the opener, is in the action again midway through the half, weaving his way to the edge of the area and firing marginally wide.
- CHANCES: Scott Jamieson curls a free-kick against the crossbar before Michael Jakobsen bundles another over another opportunity.
- RULED OUT: Harrison Delbridge heads home at close-range but he's adjudged to have climbed on Ivan Vujica.
- GOAL! Arzani takes command and draws his team level from the spot late in the half, his first Hyundai A-League goal.
- WOODWORK: With Ross McCormack introduced as a half-time substitute, Luke Brattan's audacious first-time effort skims off the top of the bar.
- CHANCE: Jack Duncan gets down low to his left to keep out Vidosic's downward header.
- GOAL! Against the run of play, Hoffman taps home a rebound to give the away side a second lead of the night.
- GOAL! But it doesn't last as Vidosic restores parity 12 minutes later.
- FINAL CHANCE: McCormack gets in behind and lobs Duncan, but Steven Ugarkovic comes from nowhere to hack it off the line.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Newcastle Jets 3': 0-1
Dream start for the Jets! Patricio Rodriguez floats a ball into the area which Topor-Stanley expertly heads beyond the stranded Dean Bouzanis.
Daniel Arzani (p), Melbourne City 43': 1-1
Daniel Georgievski dives in on Stefan Mauk, sending a confident Arzani to the spot. The youngster makes no mistake as he strokes the equaliser into the bottom right corner.
Jason Hoffman, Newcastle Jets 70': 1-2
Released into the area by Riley McGree, Andrew Nabbout's shot on the turn is initially parried by Bouzanis. But Hoffman is on hand to tuck away the loose ball.
Dario Vidosic, Melbourne City 82': 2-2
Luke Brattan breaks into space on the right and delivers the perfect cross for Vidosic to nod in at the back post.