Mixed fortunes for Newcastle Jets in overnight friendlies

Newcastle Jets’ preparations for the new Hyundai A-League season continued with a 2-1 victory over Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai FC in Spain overnight.

The 2017/18 Grand Finalists have already grabbed wins over Chinese Super League sides Beijing Goan and Shanghai Shenhua so far during pre-season.

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And it was another strong showing from Ernie Merrick’s men against the United Arab Emirates-based side, with the Jets coming from behind to grab another confidence-boosting win at the Pinatar Arena in Murcia.

Jason Hoffman has been among the goals for the Jets during pre-season and the Newcastle utility added another to his tally with a cool finish shortly before half time after strong build up from Steven Ugarkovic.

After arriving into the fray as one of several second half substitutes, Kosta Petratos was one of many young Jets’ players looking to impress coach Merrick.

The 20-year-old will have done his claim for first team minutes no harm after claiming the match winner for the Novocastrians in the 65th minute.

The match also saw an impressive late cameo from Ronald Vargas, who made his long-awaited return from injury.

Vargas made a big impact for Merrick’s side at the beginning of last season but suffered a horrible dislocated ankle injury against Brisbane Roar in October 2017.

While the Newcastle first-team claimed another pre-season win in southern Spain, Labinot Haliti’s emerging Jets squad were defeated 2-1 by Boca Juniors in their Weifang Cup fixture in China.

The Argentinian side took the lead inside 20 minutes with a classy piece of play, while Newcastle gloveman Tristan Esquilant pulled off a string of fine saves in a busy opening half.

Haliti’s side found an equaliser in the 65th minute through Kent Harrison, who finished off a lovely ball from Jack Simmons.

But Boca would restore their advantage quickly and hold on to a 2-1 victory.

The Weifang Cup is an international youth football tournament that was founded in 2006, and routinely attracts development teams from some of the best club sides and football nations from around the globe.

The Jets will continue their campaign against Shandong Luneng on Wednesday 4pm (AEST).

You can stream the match here.

2018 Weifang Cup
When: Sunday 29 July to Sunday 8 August 2018
Where: Weifang City, Shandong Province, China
Participating teams: Newcastle Jets, China National Youth Team, Santos Laguna, Spartak Moscow, RCD Espanyol, Shandong Luneng, Shanghai SIPG, Athletico Boca Juniors, Dalian Yifang FC, Deportivo Brasil, SL Benfica, River Plate.

Featured image: @NewcastleJetsFC