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22 Apr 2018 18:57
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Soccer

    Sydney FC just survive Jets in full flight

    Four days after Sydney thrashed Perth 6-0 at Allianz Stadium, the defending champions found themselves rattled and very nearly humbled by the Jets.


    Bobo has saved Sydney FC's eight-point A-League lead, holding an exhilarating Newcastle 2-2 to set a new competition record for a home unbeaten streak.

    Four days after Sydney thrashed Perth 6-0 at Allianz Stadium, the defending champions found themselves rattled and very nearly humbled by Ernie Merrick's injury-depleted entertainers, only for Bobo's 87th-minute intervention to save the day.

    The result in front of 18,055 people extends the Sky Blues' undefeated home record to 24 games, surpassing Ange Postecoglou's all-conquering Brisbane side of 2010-11.

    But the Jets gave as good as they got on Wednesday night and, though the deficit between the table's top two remains, the visitors proved they will not go quietly in the race for the Premiers' Plate.

    The pace of Dimi Petratos, Andrew Nabbout and Joe Champness was outstanding, the latter pair providing the visitors' goals either side of Milos Ninkovic's exquisite equaliser.

    "With that many inexperienced players in the team against a formidable opponent away from home, I honestly thought we wouldn't win the game," Merrick said.

    "My attitude was 'we've lost the game anyway, so let's see if we can score a few goals and make it a little bit difficult for them'."

    Sydney coach Graham Arnold gave Newcastle credit.

    "They came with a game plan to break us down and hit us on the break," Arnold said.

    A mere 10 minutes in the Jets had done exactly that when Daniel Georgievski whipped in a superbly weighted ball for Nabbout, whose header was of equal quality.

    The Jets had their lead, but Sydney's Serbian star ensured it would not last.

    Ninkovic himself started the move, shifting the ball out wide to Bobo, who took three touches and fed back to his teammate.

    The Johnny Warren Medallist did not so much run, as dance through a set of defenders, somehow emerging from the cluster to knock a delightful chip over Glen Moss.

    Minutes later the goalkeeper did well to deny Bobo's thundering volley and chances fell both ways thereafter.

    Yet the Jets, despite missing several key players through injury and suspension, could well have re-taken lead but for some off-target finishing.

    Nabbout shot high twice from inside the box, while Champness could not get the right purchase on the fruits of his marauding solo run.

    Jason Hoffman, meanwhile, was left to rue his positioning when he tapped home a Nabbout cross, only for the alert linesman to disallow the goal for offside.

    After the break Champness discovered the end product that had previously evaded him via a first-time finish off a corner.

    And as time ticked away Lachlan Jackson, one of the defenders earlier embarrassed by Ninkovic, looked to have single-handedly saved the game when he slid to block Bobo's close-range shot.

    But the Brazilian got the last laugh with a goal-mouth header courtesy of Adrian Mierzejewski's cross.


    NZN




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