Soccer

Roar ’resilience’ too much for Jets

Brisbane coach Warren Moon knows his side will have to improve to contend for the A-League title, but successive away wins has him satisfied with the Roar’s start to the season.

The Roar beat the struggling Jets 2-1 in Newcastle on Wednesday night to secure further success on the road following their 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory on January 2.

Perhaps the 18-day break was a reason for the Roar’s mixed display against the Jets, but Moon was satisfied with his side’s hunger and desperation when it mattered.

“To come away from two away games with six points, it probably says a lot about our team and our character and resilience,” Moon said.

“We weren’t great tonight – we know that. We need to be better performance wise but one thing we did do as a group we stuck tight and stayed in the game, we tried to improve things … and found a way to win.

“That\s the sign of a good team.”

Japanese midfielder Riku Danzaki’s first A-League goal and Dylan Wenzel-Halls’ second goal in two games secured Brisbane the three points.

Riku Danzaki celebrates his first A-League with his Roar teammates. Picture: Ashley Feder/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

However, Valentino Yuel’s second goal of the season temporarily put the Jets back on level terms, and at half-time the hosts were and truly in the contest with the score at 1-1.

But, the Jets couldn’t finish the job, much to the annoyance of coach Craig Deans, who was frustrated by his last-placed side’s fourth successive defeat.

“For me it’s the quality in the front third, the quality of the service, quality of the last ball … and that’s something that we just have to keep working on at training,” Deans said.

“I’m not proud to be sitting (here) now with the record of no wins from four games, and I’m sure all the players will be exactly the same.

“We just need a little bit of support but I’m not going to sit here and say it’s a good situation.”

Roar goalkeeper Macklin Freke made his A-League debut. Picture: Ashley Feder/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Freke effort

It was an eventful night for Roar goalkeeper Macklin Freke, who was making his A-League debut in place of the injured Jamie Young, who is out for up to six weeks after hurting his knee at training.

The Jets weren’t afraid to pepper Freke with a host of dangerous corners and crosses.

And while not entirely convincing in dealing with some high balls, Freke a sound debut.

“I think he did very well in the first half,” former Socceroos goalkeeper and Fox Sports expert commentator Mark Bosnich said.

“He’s got to be careful not to get into the habit of trying to punch everything.”

There was one potentially horror moment in the second half when an attempted Freke clearance went straight to Jets defender Connor O’Toole.

But Freke recovered to save O’Toole’s shot.

It was another frustrating night for Newcastle striker Roy O’Donovan. Picture: Ashley Feder/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Drought continues

It was another frustrating night for Newcastle striker Roy O’Donovan, who remains stranded on 49 A-League goals.

The Irishman, who returned to the Jets midway through last season after falling out of selection favour with then Brisbane coach Robbie Fowler, has now gone five games across two seasons, including four matches this campaign, without a goal.

Perhaps low on confidence, O’Donovan failed to get his foot to a low cross early in the contest from inside the six-yard box.

He did force a good save out of debutant Roar goalkeeper Macklin Freke in the 25th minute, but it was otherwise another quiet night for O’Donovan, who was replaced with 12 minutes of normal time remaining.

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