Sydney FC recorded yet another win over Newcastle Jets with a 2-1 result at EnergyAustralia Stadium tonight. The Sky Blues snapped a five-game losing streak thanks to first-half goals from Japanese midfielder Hiro Moriyasu and Brazilian striker Bruno Cazarine before the Jets produced a late rally with a Labinot Haliti goal but in the end, the home side could not do enough.
It was Sydney's 11th win their past 14 meetings with the Jets and put them up to ninth on the table as Newcastle slumped to their third loss on the trot and are now in danger of missing finals action.
Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle Crowd: 12,118 Referee: Matthew Gillett Yellow cards:NJ - Ryan Griffiths 17', Kasey Wehrman 27' SYD - Stephan Keller 39', Nick Carle 50', Scott Jamieson 75', Liam Reddy 84'
The Jets should have had the opener just as the five-minute mark ticked over when Jobe Wheelhouse was the recipient of a deflected Marko Jesic shot and the midfielder's left-footer from just inside the area was parried onto the post by Sydney keeper Liam Reddy before being cleared by the defence.
The match had kicked off with a strong tempo but soon slowed down when Jets centre-half Ljubo Milicevic came down badly on his ankle and had to be subbed off after just 12 minutes, although it took a couple of minutes for the Jets to get replacement Marcello Fiorentini on the park.
Newcastle were forced to reshuffle their back four and it took some time to adjust as the visitors started to push forward at every possibility, causing a few slight problems.
Jets keeper Ben Kennedy made a neat save from a close-range Bruno Cazarine shot in the 21st minute but the next 12 minutes or so belonged to the home side who were beginning to work their way right into the contest.
Sydney marquee man Nick Carle stung the palms of Kennedy in the 35th minute with a driving left foot shot from the top of the 'D' and there was then another shaky moment for the Jets when an aerial ball from Hiro Moriyasu caused problems for the defence.
GOAL After their little stage of dominance, Newcastle found themselves a goal down when Sydney's few minute session around goal yielded them the opener in the 36th minute. Moriyasu netted his first goal in the A-League with a neat side-footed volley at the back of a pack of players from Scott Jamieson's pinpoint corner for the club's first in about 500 minutes of action.
Sydney were looking increasingly dangerous following the goal, with Carle the architect, and they managed a second in injury time of the first half.
GOAL Dimitri Petratos chased down a loose ball and his pressure forced Kennedy to put in a poor clearance where Cazarine was on hand to finish with precision from the edge of the area to make it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time.
Sydney began the second half brightly, as you could expect for a team two goals up, and seemed happy to just knock the ball around until Jamieson forced Kennedy into another good save with a fizzing right foot shot from outside the area in the 64th minute.
But just a minute before that shot, Branko Culina had made some changes to try and get things going up forward for the Jets and it proved decisive as substitute Labinot Haliti made it 2-1 in the 66th minute. GOAL Haliti held the ball up in the area before playing it out for Ruben Zadkovich who advanced toward the byline before cutting back for Haliti who finished with his right foot into the roof of the net to make for an interesting finish.
That goal forced Sydney onto the back foot as the Jets pressed hard for a leveler and it almost came in the 70th minute when Haliti found fellow substitute Sasho Petrovski in the area for a header but unfortunately it cannoned into the upright in what was a huge let off for the visitors.
The Jets were coming hard and again came close to a second in the 74th minute when Zadkovich was played in and for a second time he cut it back for Haliti, who stopped and propped, before flicking with his right foot but it trickled just inches past the post.
Sydney keeper Reddy then had to be watchful when Haliti headed goalward from a corner, the ball looping just over the crossbar, before an 86th minute chance for Sydney new boy Juho Makela which was forced out by some tenacious defending from Tarek Elrich.
For all their efforts, the Jets were unable to find a winner as Sydney's good work earlier in the match allowed them to record maximum points for the first time in six matches.
NJ Ben Kennedy (gk), Adam D'Apuzzo, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Ljubo Milicevic (Fiorentini 14'), Tarek Elrich, Kasey Wehrman, Ruben Zadkovich, Jobe Wheelhouse, Marko Jesic (Haliti 63'), Ali Abbas, Ryan Griffiths (Petrovski 63')
Subs - Jack Duncan (gk), Marcello Fiorentini (14'), Sasho Petrovski (63'), Labinot Haliti (63')
SYD Liam Reddy (gk), Stephan Keller, Hiro Moriyasu (Ryall 84'), Stuart Musialik, Bruno Cazarine (Makela 76'), Nick Carle (Cole 71'), Terry McFlynn, Matthew Jurman, Scott Jamieson, Sung-Hwan Byun, Dimitri Petratos
Subs - Ivan Necevski (gk), Shannon Cole (71'), Juho Makela (76'), Seb Ryall (84')