Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gold Coast United 1-0 Newcastle Jets: United finally break goal drought

Gold Coast United went 585 minutes in the A-League without scoring at home, but the drought was broken when former Manchester United player John Curtis, who came on as a 71st-minute substitute, scored in the last minute to beat Newcastle Jets 1-0 at Skilled Park tonight.

The win lifted Gold Coast from 8th to 5th on the ladder, while the Jets dropped a place to 10th and second-last spot.

The Jets, who changed ownership today - Con Constantine gave way to coal millionaire Nathan Tinkler - were outplayed in the opening half, but came back strongly in the second before conceding the late goal.

Jason Culina was in fine form for Gold Coast. His ball distribution was mostly accurate and imaginative. He was sharp off the mark and always sprinted away after passing the ball and looked for the return.

The overall technical quality on view was disappointing, however, with players often failing to control the ball and conceding possession or allowing the ball to roll out of play.

Gold Coast launched a clever attack in the 13th minute, with Robson and Steve Fitzsimmons combining to set up Andrew Barisic, but his shot was easy meat for Newcastle goalkeeper Ben Kennedy.

The only other chances of the first half fell to Culina, who volleyed wide in the 24th minute and shot high and wide 5 minutes before the interval after Bruce Djite set him up.

Barisic shot straight at Kennedy seconds after the resumption as Gold Coast got straight into the action.

In the 51st minute, Barisic fired into the side-netting following a pass from Robson, the Brazilian import who played for Flamengo in 2007, when they finished third in the Brazilian Carioca league.

Newcastle had their first genuine chance after 66 minutes when Ruben Zadkovic powered a shot on target and forced keeper Glen Moss to turn the ball over the bar for a corner.

A minute later, Zadkovic missed a wonderful chance when he was clear on the right, placing his effort wide of the near post.

Culina fired straight at Kennedy in the 80th minute, but the home side clinched the three points in the last minute when substitute full-back Curtis went on a long run down the right before cutting inside and scoring with a left-foot shot from the edge of the box that flew in off the under-side of the bar.

The Newcastle central pairing of Ljubo Milicevic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley were excellent and Milicevic earned the man-of-the-match award, with Topor-Stanley a close second.

Gold Coast had 14 shots on goal, 5 of which were on target, while the Jets had 8 shots on goal, only one of which was on target.

For Gold Coast, Barisic had 5 shots on goal, 2 of which were on target; Culina had 4 shots on goal, one of which was on target; Robson had two shots on goal, none of which were on target; Zenon Caravella had one shot, which was not on target; Chris Broadfoot had one shot which was on target, and Curtis had one shot, which resulted in the goal.

For Newcastle, Labinot Haliti had 2 shots with neither on target; Milicevic had two shots, neither of which were on target; Topor-Stanley had one shot, which was off target; Zadkovic had three shots, one of which was on target.

Gold Coast had 55 per cent of the possession compared to the Jets’ 45 per cent.

Gold Coast had 5 corners and Newcastle 2, while Gold Coast committed 15 fouls and Newcastle 13.

Newcastle were off-side twice and Gold Coast not once.

Gold Coast received two yellow cards (Robson and Bas van den Brink) and Newcastle none.

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