Perth Glory rolled up their sleeves after their home loss to *shudders* the Mariners and jetted off to Newcastle. The Newcastle Jets geared up to beat Tiki Taka Popa Ball to claim their first win of the season.
Newcastle’s gameplay today was; ball to Arroyo > Arroyo runs with ball > Arroyo and ball beat defender > rest of the team eventually catch up > Arroyo whips it to someone outside of the box > said person outside of the box will send it to a teammate in the box if unable to shoot it themselves. Repeat.
Newcastle Jets were initially the team with all the possession and all the forward passes after Ernie Merrick presumably tore them a new one after last weekend’s 4-1 loss to Sydney FC. The Jets have been playing like a pretty midfield outfit this season. I’m not sure what’s happening with Glen Moss and the communication with his backline but they need to go to an Escape Room or something together. And then the frontline can’t seem to make anything that will give them 3 points happen.
In the 29th minute, one of my personal favs for this season, Abdiel Arroyo started a play which ended with Newcastle Jets’ first and only goal. Arroyo somehow finds time and Ugarkovic somehow finds space. Between the two, they created a continuum. Steven Ugarkovic, standing alone well outside the box, receives the pass and feeds through to Jason Hoffman who scores the Jets’ first goal from open play this season. An absolutely excellent goal from the Jets, giving the fans some hope in what has been quite a depressing start to the season.
Perth Glory were still playing some very sexy football, mainly fed by Diego Castro however there were very few attacking plays. Perth spent the majority of this half sitting back, a little bit of tiki taka here and there but kind of just existing to be honest.
Jason Hoffman goes up 1v1 on Alex Grant for presumably saying something shitty as it all fires up from a specky from Ridenton on Juande. This little argy bargy has a ripple effect on the remainder of the half as both teams fired up.
The Popovic play was strong in this Perth Glory outfit. Each Glory player trying to win the game of possession each with more touches than my phone screen on a Friday night. I wonder when Popovic will figure out the way to gain 3 points is not to get a higher percentage of possession but to actually score more goals than the other team.
Nick Fitzgerald with a pass into the box in the 72nd minute, is whisked away by Wuthrich’s hand (we’ve all been there Wuthrich) in which the ref immediately pulls out a yellow. However Super-VAR comes into play as Wuthrich was border lining the box in which, if you’re new to this roundball concept, means it may instead be a penalty – which also means VAR can in fact step in – but if it’s not in the box they can’t. Was that thorough? I hope that was thorough. To me it looked like half of his right boot was in the box meaning the right arm which was struck was in fact in the box. But if I were doing a Robbie, his entire body was not over the line. The VAR cannot conclude that he was in fact in the box and a free kick just outside the area is awarded to the Jets. Dimi Petratos steps up, Dimi Petratos hits the wall. We move on.
Chris Ikonomidis tries to get one back in the 76th minute with a whopper of a hit that falls a little too high and bounces off the crossbar. The ball falls for Castro on the rebound but the Jets’ ultra tight invisible Castro fort was too much for the Spanish man. Several minutes later, Iko comes back as the fire cracker Popa gave him at half time has finally set off and grazes the netting. Perth Glory are out here doing Perth Glory things again, hungry for late goals.
In the 85th Juande starts a play by passing it to an unmarked Franjic and creates a ripple effect of a mess in the box which by the end of it all, results in a goal. Chris Harold tries to help a battling Ivan as he fends off several Newcastle defenders. Harold goes for goal but hits the crossbar. Diego Castro, again finding balls on the rebound which this time rebounded off a Jets defender from the bar rebound and finishes it off cleanly into the back of the net. Glen Moss looks f*cking pissed.
Barely several touches later from the restart after the goal, Alex Grant receives a second yellow for an aggressive arm into the face of Angus Thurgate while both players were jumping for the ball. I made the conclusion the yellow was given as it seems Grant was looking directly at Thurgate when the incident happened, deeming it dangerous play.
In 5 minutes of added time, a 10 man Perth Glory were able to defend their equaliser and the game ended on even terms. Perth Glory now have a bye week which to be honest, if I were Popa with this team, I would be carrying out many team building activities. Newcastle Jets are off to Geelong to face Western United, good luck with that guys, seriously.
By Rose Valente