Newcastle Jets defeat a youthful but inspired Perth Glory 2-1, booking their place in the Australia Cup Round of 32.
Looking at the teamsheets prior to kick-off, one would be under the impression that it would be an easy ride for the home side, who would go toe-to-toe with an exceptionally young and inexperienced Perth Glory.
Perth struggled to string passes together in the opening minutes. Newcastle Jets commanded the game, and it showed through the scoreline.
Jordan Elsey opened the scoring 25 minutes in. Needing a boost to reach the Penha’s cross from a corner, Elsey propelled himself to the back stick, placing a diving header out of Reddy’s reach into the net.
Penha quickly followed suit, taking into his own hands to dribble into space and rocket a low-percentage shot outside the 18-yard box. The shot rocketed into the upper echelon, leaving Reddy flat-footed.
The second half witnessed an envigorated Perth Glory finally put some pressure on the Jet’s defence.
In a more even half of football, the away side injected some essential firepower.
Substitute forward Tyler Vecchio scored a vital goal against the run of play to give the tiny but enthusiastic present Perth faithful a glimmer of hope.
But ultimately, it was the Jets who signed, sealed, and delivered the win to a home crowd of a bit over 1000.
Local product and late substitute Archie Goodwin scored with his only touch of the game after a small scramble in the box.
The result sees Newcastle into the Round of 32 of the Australia Cup, the first time in two years after becoming the first team to be eliminated in the newfound Cup Play-Offs last campaign. Perth will have to wait another year for a potential Australia Cup Finals run.
Daniel Penha once again displayed nothing but talent and artistry, involving himself in both of the Jet’s goals as they ran out 2-0 winners.
The Brazilian turned Novocastrian has been clinical in the final third since arriving in the A-League, particularly in creating chances. Penha topped the assist charts this season, tallying up a total of 11.
Against Glory in the Play-Offs, Penha tore apart the opposition with ease, peppering balls into the box and at goal throughout the 90.
Penha provided the assist to Jordan Elsey’s opener and also bagged an absolute screamer of his own.
Although, unfortunately for Jets supporters, this game could very possibly be his last with reports around a potential move to Sydney FC.
GLORY’S YOUTH SHOW POTENTIAL
After their most demoralising A-League campaign to date, Perth Glory bows out of the Australia Cup in the Play-Offs. Coincidently the same round Newcastle Jets did last campaign.
The Glory sent a very youthful squad on the four-hour flight, with nine out of the 11 starters being 22 years of age or younger, Liam Reddy and Darryl Lachman being the only exceptions.
It seemed Perth could not retain any form of ball possession in the first half, as Newcastle steamrolled to a 2-0 lead inside half an hour.
The second half for Perth showed some promise. After introducing Josh Anasmo, Niyongbiare, and Vecchio off the bench, Glory managed to string together a couple of well-orchestrated attacks.
Vecchio scored the opener for Perth with 20 minutes to spare, sparking a hopeful comeback. But unfortunately could not find an equaliser.
JETS TWITTER WORTH FOLLOWING
Despite the monotonous fixture, both circumstance and quality wise, the Newcastle Jets’ social media team provided fans with some characteristic updates on socials.
The Jets have been known for their stringent and dull socials in the past. But throughout this year, they have significantly improved on this front. Especially tonight, as they provided some entertaining match commentary on Twitter.
Nevertheless, it provides fans with an engaging follow-along and would certainly help meet the monthly quota for social media engagements.
In saying that, they do have a dedicated matchday blog which you can view here.
Australia Cup Play-Offs
Newcastle Jets 3 (Elsey 25m, Penha 31m, Goodwin 90+3m)
Perth Glory 1 (Vecchio 71m)