Football 3 years ago

Jets snag A-League draw with Roar

  • Jets snag A-League draw with Roar

Ben Kantarovski has enabled Newcastle to snatch a point from A-League leaders Brisbane in an entertaining end-to-end 1-1 draw at Hunter Stadium.

It was a high-stakes encounter on Saturday between a side looking to go equal top and another out to extend their lead by four points.

Jamie Maclaren appeared to have ensured a Roar victory when, in the 52nd minute and against the run of play, Brandon Borrello played the striker into the box.

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He isolated Mark Birighitti with a touch before rolling past the Jets' goalkeeper into the far corner.

But Newcastle held their composure and gave the 10,115-strong crowd what they were after with 19 minutes to go.

From a David Carney corner, Kantarovski latched onto Lachlan Jackson's deflected header and put away his second goal of the season.

It was reward for the thinly stretched home side. Their brave midfield's crunching and scrapping gave away few cheap shots despite Brisbane lurking dangerously.

The couple that came were in the first four minutes when the league's most-prolific gloveman Birighitti made two critical saves.

Brisbane utilised a stiff breeze when Thomas Broich drove a great strike from 25m out before Maclaren stung the Jets' custodian's palms at closer range.

Birighitti came under heightened pressure as Newcastle's makeshift backline laboured without captain Nigel Boogaard (ankle), while Braedyn Crowley made a nervy start up front in place of striker Milos Trifunovic (knee).

Crowley almost had a magical moment in his debut A-League start when he rushed onto an Enver Alivodic cross.

But the 19-year-old somehow missed a point-blank shot from a mere metre out, put off by a crucial touch from Jade North.

The woodwork was given a workout at both ends, as Carney's delightful left-foot strike hit the crossbar flush and Dimitri Petratos struck the other upright a few minutes later.

Roar coach John Aloisi should be more pleased with the free-flowing display than last week's 90 minutes of "anti-football" with Melbourne City, with the Jets conceding only seven fouls to the visitors' 15.

It was his own team who played slightly more cynically in the second half as they protected their lead.

Daniel Bowles was lucky not to be sent off with 30 minutes to go when he tackled Leonardo rugby style and picked up a yellow card for his efforts.

But the match opened back up with Kantarovski's equaliser and the introduction of Henrique, who earned a free-kick in extra-time, only for Birighitti to save the day again, denying Corona's curler.

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