Jets breathe life into Finals Series bid with big Victory boilover
Newcastle Jets gave their top-six hopes a huge boost while effectively ending Melbourne Victory's fading Premiership challenge with a 2-0 win in Geelong on Saturday night.
Johnny Koutroumbis' first-half finish and a stunning sealer at the death from Dimitri Petratos proved enough for the Jets to snap a three-match losing streak against their Grand Final conquerors as they surged to within two points of sixth-placed Wellington Phoenix.
Victory, now winless in four Hyundai A-League games, struggled to carve out consistent clear-cut chances and finished the match with 10 men when James Donachie received a second booking in stoppage time.
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Warm conditions at GMHBA Stadium failed to stunt an entertaining start with Kosta Barbarouses going closest inside the opening 20 minutes, the forward collecting James Troisi's ball over the top and drilling an effort into the near post at close range.
Keisuke Honda, wearing the captain's armband, twice tested Glen Moss with a pair of stinging shots either side of that chance.
But the visitors always looked a danger going forward and broke the deadlock in the 34th minute – Steven Ugarkovic had two bites at Daniel Georgievski's right-sided cross before the ball broke kindly for Koutroumbis to slam home his third Hyundai A-League goal.
Kenny Athiu, afforded a starting chance by the absences of Ola Toivonen and Elvis Kamsoba, had a tidy finish ruled out for an offside against Corey Brown shortly after the interval.
The striker then powered a volley on target which Moss parried, before a goal-bound Barbarouses effort deflected off Nikolai Topor-Stanley and over the crossbar.
Roy O'Donovan blazed wide from just inside the box as Newcastle looked to relieve the pressure that was mounting at the other end.
Moss bravely dived at Jai Ingham's feet to snuff out the last of Victory's chances for an equaliser and, after Donachie received his marching orders, Petratos unleashed a long-range rocket to sensationally wrap up his team's first win outside New South Wales since March 2018.
Relive the action as it unfolded in our LIVE BLOG below!