Match Report: City 1-2 Newcastle
A late headed goal from Apostolos Stamatelopoulous secured all three points for the Newcastle Jets as Melbourne City FC’s Premiership season came to a close with a 2-1 defeat on Thursday night.
Melbourne, the designated home side for the night at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah, made two changes to Sunday’s side that took on the Victory, with Andrew Nabbout and Stefan Colakovski welcome additions to City’s front third. Nathaniel Atkinson was named on the bench in what was his first outing since injuring his hamstring back in early April, whilst Raphael Borges-Rodrigues and Naoki Tsubaki were also named on the bench after starting roles on Sunday.
Skipper Scott Jamieson started in game number 103 for Melbourne, equalling David Williams’ Club record and poised to break the barrier in next weeks final.
City started like a house on fire and wave after wave of attack bore fruit.
Just nine minutes into the contest, Colakovski found the back of the net. A delightful Galloway ball broke the Newcastle offside trap and it was Adrian Luna running on, who played an inch perfect pass to the feet of Colakovski to tap in at the back post.
Nabbout looked likely to create City’s second either by assisting or going himself but some sharp work from Jets keeper Jack Duncan kept City at bay.
A defensive scramble saw Rostyn Griffiths pull up sore after 17 minutes, Alec Mills replacing the him in the heart of City's defence.
City pushed on for the second but it was to be Newcastle youngster Archie Goodwin with his first A-League goal, curling a strike from distance around Tom Glover to the back post for the equaliser.
The game evened up from that point of the match as the two sides traded blows into the half time break.
Andrew Nabbout was replaced at the half by Nathaniel Atkinson and the game heated up as both sides strove for a winner. A gorgeous through ball for Florin Berenguer almost resulted in a classy chipped goal, the Frenchman going just over before being involved in the play again not long after, the resultant cross finding Luna at the back post.
The Uruguayan’s ball back across the box left the Jets floundering and Marco Tilio found himself frustratingly close to tapping in for the lead.
A Jets free kick in the final minute of regulation time was well headed on by Stamatelopoulous, finding the far corner of the net whilst Nathaniel Atkinson was denied just seconds after the restart by a terrific Duncan save and ultimately, the Jets were able to hold on for victory.
City now look forward to its home Semi Final, to be played at AAMI Park on Sunday 20 June at 4.05pm. Tickets are on sale via Ticketek from Thursday June 17.