Jets thump Knights with two late goals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jets thump Knights with two late goals

By Damon Cronshaw 13/01/2006 11:16:37 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle Jets have strengthened its semi-final hopes with a 3-0 win over NZ Knights at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday night.

Super-sub Labinot Haliti scored two late goals, after Ante Milicic headed his side in front early in the match.

It was Newcastle's third victory of the season over the hapless Knights.

The Jets climbed two points above Central Coast Mariners into third spot, although the Mariners have a game in hand against second-placed Sydney on Saturday.

Newcastle looked a more determined outfit than in its last two matches, a loss to Central Coast and a draw with Sydney.

New Zealand was largely devoid of attacking spark.

Milicic opened the scoring in the 19th minute when he rose to head home a Nick Carle free kick, whipped in from the right.

The goal handed Milicic an equal share of the A-League leading scorers list, with seven goals.

Referee Perry Mur awarded the free-kick, after New Zealand midfielder Zenon Caravella fouled Ned Zelic who ventured forward from a defensive position.

Milicic almost added to his tally on the half-hour mark with a customary strike from inside the box, but his shot deflected just wide.

Substitute Haliti added a second with a superb 30-metre shot in the 86th minute that dipped over New Zealand goalkeeper Glen Moss.

Haliti netted Newcastle's third with his left boot in injury time.

A sweet left-foot volley from 30 metres by New Zealand substitute Josh Maguire forced Newcastle goalkeeper Liam Reddy into a finger-tip save in the 38th minute.

Maguire, who hails from Newcastle, came on in the 27th minute for Cole Tinkler who was flattened by Jets defender Allan Picken early in the match.

Matt Thompson played a long-range defence-splitting pass to striker Vaughan Coveny in the 15th minute, which the striker steered towards goal.

Moss put his body on the line to block the shot.

Thompson and Carle had chances early in the second half.

A Stuart Musialik pass sent Thompson clear, but the midfielder squandered the chance.

Moments later, Carle darted in towards goal but an advancing Moss blocked his run.

Moss dived to stop a Picken 30-metre drive in the 78th minute.

Newcastle coach Richard Money said his side's three goals could prove vital at the end of the season.

"New Zealand didn't deserve to come off the pitch 3-0 (down) that's for sure," Money said.

"The difference between second and third may end up being goal difference, so it was an important last ten minutes for us. It gets our goal difference back to where it was before we went to the Central Coast (and lost 4-1)."

Money handed out special praise to Halitis, labelling his first goal as "one of the goals of the season."

New Zealand coach John Adshead said his side did not create enough chances to get anything out of the match.

"We let ourselves down in the opening 20 minutes. We didn't get balls forward quickly enough and they got on top of us," Adshead said.

Adshead said his side was unlucky to concede the goal to Halitis, which killed off the game as a contest.

"It was a speculative shot, one of those that once a season or every two or three seasons hits the back of the net," he said.

"We felt we might have had a couple of half chances in that last five minutes and got ourselves back into the game.

Adshead said Tinkler had suffered concussion and Ben Collett was having x-rays after suffering a rib injury.

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