Photo: "Dick Tracy" unable to pilot Jets to win after ejection of Fiorentini [PlessPix]
Melbourne Victory 2-0 Newcastle Jets
Melbourne Victory retained fifth place on the A-League ladder with this 2-0 win over 8th-placed Newcastle Jets.
It was only the Victory’s second win over the Jets in six meetings at Etihad Stadium.
Marvin Angulo should have given Victory the lead after 19 minutes when fed by Danny Allsopp, but he fired over the bar.
A defensive error by Newcastle in the 22nd minute gave possession to Allsopp, who weaved his way into a shooting position from just inside the box. But, his low drive, which was destined for the back of the net, took a slight deflection off a defender and was turned wide for a corner by keeper Ben Kennedy.
Two minutes later, Kennedy did well to deny Mate Dugandzic, whose shot from an angle on the right was packed with venom.
Newcastle were finding it difficult to make any headway and the closest they came in the opening half was when Nikolai Topor-Stanley nodded a corner over the bar.
In the 57th minute, Victory hit the front when Dugandzic slipped the ball inside to Tom Pondeljak, whose outside-of-the-right foot shot beat Kennedy at his right-hand post.
The Jets suffered a blow when Marcello Fiorentini was ejected from the game in the 62nd minute as Mr Delovski brandished his red card.
It was 2-0 in the 70th minute through a simple but superb counter-attack by Melbourne. Goalkeeper Michael Petkovic threw the ball to Angulo in midfield and he played Robbie Kruse through on goal and the Australian international finished in style.
It was almost 3-0 in the 82nd minute, but Kennedy turned Matthew Foschini’s shot against his right-hand post.
In injury time, Newcastle almost pulled a goal back through Jeremy Brockie, but Petkovic produced a fine save.
Melbourne Victory qualified for the finals as a result of this win.
Melbourne Victory: Petkovic - Franjic, Vargas, Leijer - Pondeljak, Ferreira (Ricardinho 63), Angulo, Kemp (Foschini 76) - Kruse (Pilkington 83), Dugandzic, Allsopp (Sub not used: Mattei)
Goals: Pondeljak 57, Kruse 70
Newcastle Jets: Kennedy - Elrich, Galloway, Topor-Stanley - Fiorentini, Virgili (Shuo 60), Wheelhouse, D-Apuzzo, Brockie - Jesic (Pepper 73), Haliti (Simic 73) (Sub not used: Nash)
Sent off: Fiorentini
Ref: S Delovski