Brisbane Roar remain in the hunt to be the first Hyundai A-League team to record 100 wins after falling 0-2 to Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium.
The loss opens the opportunity for the Western Sydney Wanderers to close the gap at the top of the Hyundai A-League table, but Brisbane Roar remain on top for at least another week.
An own goal in the 34th by Brisbane defender James Donachie gave the visitors the early lead. An 86th-minute goal sealed the result, when substitute Joseph Gibbs headed a cross under Theo’s grasp.
It wasn’t the result Brisbane was hoping for, with goalkeeper Michael Theo playing his 100th game for the club and Luke Brattan his 50th.
Brisbane dominated possession early and forced Newcastle to scramble in defence for most of the first 25 minutes, with goalkeeper Mark Birighitti more than once having to gather up shots.
Liam Miller had Brisbane’s best chance of the first half, when Ivan Franjic cut the ball back to him in the 7th minute and Miller found himself with space to shoot. But his shot skewed wide.
With a goal in hand, the momentum shifted to Newcastle and Brisbane was denied repeatedly by Birighitti’s safe hands.
Brisbane was awarded a free kick late in the second half after Besart Berisha was taken down outside the box. Brattan’s on-target shot cleared the wall, headed towards the top left corner, but Birighitti parried it away.
Gibbs hit the side netting during injury time, almost putting Newcastle three goals ahead.
Brisbane has scored just one goal against Newcastle in the teams’ past three meetings and Newcastle has won both this season’s encounters.
Brisbane now faces Sydney FC away on Boxing Day in Sydney and returns home to Suncorp Stadium to take on Adelaide United on 11 January.
Brisbane Roar 0
Newcastle Jets 2 (Donachie 34’ OG, Gibbs 86’)
Friday, 20 December 2013
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 7.00pm local (8.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Peter Green
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEO, 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 7. Besart BERISHA, 11. Liam MILLER (23. Dimitri PETRATOS 58’), 15. James DONACHIE, 17. Matt McKAY, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 19. Jack HINGERT (10. HENRIQUE 70’), 22. Thomas BROICH, 26.Corey BROWN (14. Diogo FERREIRA 84’)
Substitutes not used: 20. Matthew ACTON (gk), 27. Brandon BORRELLO
Yellow cards: Franjic 93’
Red cards: Nil
Newcastle Jets Squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3. Taylor REGAN, 4. Kew JALIENS, 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI (6. Zenon CARAVELLA 82’), 7. Andrew HOOLE (11. Craig GOODWIN 66’), 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH (c), 15. Josh BRILLANTE, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 18. James BROWN, 21. Sam GALLAWAY, 22. Adam TAGGART (13. Joseph GIBBS 82’),
Substitutes not used: 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 24. Mitchell OXBORROW
Yellow cards: Gallaway 22’, Goodwin 86’
Red cards: Nil