Round three saw the Grand Final rematch between the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory would Ernie Merrick’s men get their much waited revenge or would Muscat’s side finally get their 2018/19 campaign underway to bounce back with a win?
**Disclaimer I am a self-professed Daniel Georgievski fangirl so much so that the ladies and I had a challenge going, every time I mentioned the Macedonian I had to have a drink. So it was definitely going to be a mission watching the game while keeping track of the “drinks tally”. **
Prior to Kick-Off our TLL sideline reporters had the pleasure of watching JOWIC (an injured Joey Champness) perform a few of his songs outside of the stadium in what was his first live performance. It was everything we love about the A-League and more. Images and videos on our Instagram story and Twitter page!
The first half started full of emotion with an early yellow card to Kosta Barbarouses which triggered a chorus of booing from the Jets faithful, clearly that offside goal was fresh in their minds. The first twenty-five saw the Jets bombard the Victory defence with chance after chance and safe to say most Victory supporters were preparing for not only a loss but a big loss at that.
The 35th minute saw a Jason Hoffman with a booking for a clipping Georg Niedermeier on the ankle (that replay showed contact on his Achilles and even I cringed – OUCH!) and questions as to why Georg was not moved to the sideline to receive treatment. But anyway, the fourth official signalled four minutes of stoppage time and Georg was up on his feet in no time.
Victory’s new look defence had more holes in it than the Titanic and the football Gods must have been on visitors’ side to when both sides went into the sheds at halftime goalless.
Early in the second, saw Kosta Barbarouses score from a volley on the edge with a save from Glen Moss when in a blink of an eye the Kiwi scores for the visitors before the VAR rules it *correctly* offside. The irony wasn’t lost on me and I did have a giggle before realising man, that could cost us! Urgarkovic goes into the referee’s book in the 52nd for a rough tackle on Antonis and not to be outdone, Terry Antonis also receives a yellow two minutes later for holding back Ridenton.
The Jets kept searching for that elusive goal but it was Terry Antonis to the rescue for the visitors when he scored a cracker pretty much identical to his goal the week before against Glory giving the visitors in the lead in the 71st minute. Shout out to Keisuke Honda for another assist (he has been prolific for
the Victory with three assists and a goal already). The home side did not give up and kept pushing for their goal, and it almost happened when late in stoppage time saw Victory scramble in front of goal to deny the Jets in the 95th.
Game over! The Victory get their first points of the season, with the sole goal separating the two sides and I’ll be the first to admit that if we are basing results off performance than the Jets deserved at least a point. However, knowing that football does not work in this way (Victory’s late loss to the Glory last week is an indication) the Victory faithful would be super happy with the result and the Jets left to rue what might have been, one draw and two losses so far in their campaign.
**For those who were keeping track on social media, Georgievski was substituted in the 79th ending my drink tally with 8, a sigh of relief that I would survive and Danny would be safe to play next week**