Photo: Jets fought like tigers but were finally grounded by a 'goal' that wasn't a goal [PlessPix]
Sydney FC 1-0 Newcastle Jets
Sydney FC finally moved off the foot of the A-League ladder with this 1-0 home win over Newcastle Jets at the Sydney Football Stadium, but the visitors ‘was robbed’.
When Hirofumi Moriyasu crossed the ball from the byline on the right in the 76th minute for Bruno Cazarine to score the goal, his 5th of the season, the ball had already crossed the line and a goal-kick should have been awarded.
The assistant referee, Ben Wilson, a FIFA accredited official, raised his flag, but it was for a foul on Moriyasu by Nikolai Topor-Stanley and referee Chris Beath played the advantage. By the time the ball was in the back of the net, Wilson had lowered his flag and the goal had been given.
The defeat left the Jets grounded at the foot of the ladder, while for Sydney, it was a time for rejoicing. After all, it was their first win in 8 games at home and after they had spent nine weeks in last place. Sydney are now 9th on the ladder.
Newcastle started without central defenders Ljubo Milicevic and Kasey Wehrman, who were both on the bench for disciplinary reasons. Topor-Stanley therefore partnered youngster Taylor Regan in the centre of defence, but coach Branco Culina brought Milicevic and Wehrman on for the final 7 minutes of the match. Wehrman was booked with virtually his first touch.
The Jets have themselves to blame for the defeat in a way because they had the better chances and missed them.
As early as the 3rd minute, Marco Jesic scuffed his shot when perfectly placed to take advantage of Tarek Elrich’s right-wing cross.
In the 8th minute, Jesic planted his free-kick straight into the defensive wall when he should have hit the target. The Jets should really have allowed a left-footer to take this free-kick from the left-hand side as it might have been more effective.
In the 25th minute, Labinot Haliti sent in a shot from range that flew wide.
The string of misses continued in the second half and, in the 61st minute, Ali Abbas got onto the end of Haliti’s right-wing cross but headed over the bar when unmarked at the far post.
Sydney had a good chance in the 72nd minute, but Jets keeper Ben Kennedy easily dealt with Alex Brosque’s header.
A minute later, it was Newcastle’s turn again as Ben Kantarovski fluffed a glorious chance, side-footing wide when left unmarked at a corner.
Topor-Stanley may, incidentally, also have been partly at fault for the goal in the 76th minute. He fouled Moriyasu, but, when the Japanese player commendably refused to go down and stayed on his feet and made a beeline for the byline, Topor-Stanley was slow to react and, although Topor-Stanley eventually made another challenge, Moriyasu had already cut the ball back from out of play and to Cazarine. Had Topor-Stanley stuck on the heels of his opponent, the ‘goal’ may never have been scored.
The introduction of Wehrman, who was playing his 100th game in Australia, and Milicevic was the last roll of the dice for Culina. Milicevic played up front rather than in defence, but the Jets simply ran out of gas and were dumped to the foot of the table.
Perhaps Culina should have dropped the pair completely rather than have them on the bench. That would have been appropriate disciplinary action. By having them on the bench and then bringing them on so close to the end played right into the miscreants’ hands as it made it look as if Culina was begging them to rescue him.
Sydney FC (4-2-3-1): Necevski - Cole, Foxe, Keller, Jamieson - McFlynn (Gan 61), Musialik - Moriyasu (Ryall 83), Grant (Petratos 71), Brosque - Cazarine [Substitute not used: Redmayne]
Booked: McFlynn 59
Goals: Cazarine 76
Newcastle Jets (4-3-3): Kennedy - Elrich, Regan, Topor-Stanley, D’Apuzzo - Zadkovich, Kantarovski, Abbas - Jesic (Wehrman 83), Haliti (Milicevic 83), Patafta (Rooney 71) [Substitute not used: Nash]
Booked: Regan 4, Wehrman 89
Ref: C Beath