Jets fight back to take a point from Perth in entertaining 1-1 draw
Perth Glory will end the 2020/21 A-League campaign in ninth spot on the A-League table after giving up a one-goal lead to draw 1-1 against Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night.
The away side took the lead in the first half through a remarkable long-range finish by star striker Bruno Fornaroli but the Jets dug deep to earn their share of the spoils, with Angus Thurgate dispatching a shot on goal which Perth defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis bundled into his own net in the 70th minute.
16-year-old Jets forward Archie Goodwin took another encouraging step on his way to making his name as a rising A-League star, putting four shots on target in a busy performance for the home side. The teenager failed to find the back of the net with two late chances to complete the comeback as the Jets moved above Melbourne Victory into 11th spot on the A-League table with the point earned at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Perth, meanwhile, miss out on automatic qualification for the 2021 FFA Cup Round of 32. Glory will now face a play-off contest with either the Jets or Victory - depending on which of the two teams locked on 18 points with one game each to play finishes bottom of the A-League table.
Teenage Jets forward Goodwin threatened to tear the game apart in the first half with a handful of early opportunities, but the emerging star was unable to replicate the cutting edge shown by experienced Perth striker Bruno Fornaroli down the other end as the visitors took a one-goal lead to the break.
A quiet 20-minute spell kicked off proceedings at McDonald Jones Stadium before Fornaroli picked out the top corner with a jaw-dropping strike from distance to put Perth ahead.
The Uruguayan received the ball in a central position outside the box, dribbled toward goal and cut onto his right foot, putting Ali Abbas on skates before unleashing a well-hit strike past Jack Duncan to rattle the back of the net.
Newcastle were unable to restore parity before the break, despite Goodwin's best efforts to peg one back in the first half.
The teenager is building quite the reputation in Newcastle after his recent impressive performances and he continued to dazzle against Perth, displaying pace and an eye for goal while testing Perth goalkeeper Tando Velaphi three times throughout the opening stanza before finding Lucas Mauragis with a dangerous cross to the back post which Josh Rawlins did well to divert away from danger.
The Jets saw a pair of penalty claims waved away by referee Adam Fielding early in the second half, with Perth defender Luke Bodnar involved in the thick of the action.
A VAR check was upheld Fielding's decision not to award a spot kick after Bodnar's challenge on Goodwin in the 51st minute after the tricky teen beat Bodnar into the box and went down under contact from behind.
One minute later the home players were up in arms again calling for another decision to go their way when Matthew Millar hit the deck after touching the ball past Bodnar into the penalty area, but this time Fielding would hand the visitors a free-kick whilst booking Millar for his decision to go down easily under no contact from the Glory player.
Perth seemed intent with its one-goal lead but the visitors were unable to keep the advantage intact, as Angus Thurgate put the finish on a move involving a number of Jets youngsters in the 70th minute.
Mauragis played a one-two with substitute Blake Archbold down the left wing before cutting across the box to slide a pass through for Thurgate to meet by the left-hand goalpost. Thurgate attempted a dink on goal, which was helped over the line off the chest of Jonathan Aspropotamitis as it dropped over the line to tie things up at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Goodwin succumbed to injury late in the game but not before troubling Velaphi with a pair of late chances, getting in behind Osama Malik to fire an initial shot just wide of the mark, then rising high to meet a Valentino Yuel cross which he headed directly into the Perth goalkeeper's path.
Next match - Matchweek 24
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City
Sunday, June 6 2021
Venue: AAMI Park
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEST
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports
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