Brisbane Roar continued Newcastle’s miserable start to the season, winning 2-1 at McDonald Jones Stadium Wednesday night to doom the Jets to a fourth straight loss.
While it wasn’t the Roar’s prettiest performance, they did enough to secure back-to-back wins and jump to third place on the A League rankings.
It is the first time in six years that the Roar have won games in a row.
The roar went ahead in just the sixth minute thanks to the Japanese importer Riku Danzaki.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who had been given too much space by the Jets, released a long-range shot that distracted Newcastle defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley and the head of unfortunate goalkeeper Jack Duncan.
The Jets equalized in the 38th minute when Valentino Yuel scored his second goal of the season.
The former Western United shooter rose to take a dangerous corner home from Ramy Najjarine.
The Roar regained the lead in the 61st minute over Dylan Wenzel-Halls, who also scored for the second time this season.
Wenzel-Halls, who received a great pass from former Socceroos attacker Scott McDonald, finished a low-angle drive into the corner of the net.
“It was ugly, but on the road, three points, we’ll happily return to Brisbane.” Wenzel-Halls told Fox Sports.
It was an eventful night for Roar goalkeeper Macklin Freke, who made his A-League debut instead of injured Jamie Young, who is out of training for up to six weeks after a knee injury.
The Jets weren’t afraid of lavishing Freke with a multitude of dangerous nooks and crannies.
And although Freke is not entirely convincing with some high balls, he makes a sound debut.
“I think he did very well in the first half,” said former Socceroos goalkeeper and Fox Sports commentator Mark Bosnich.
“He has to be careful not to get used to hitting everything.”
There was a potentially terrifying moment in the second half when an attempted Freke clearance went straight to Jets defenseman Connor O’Toole.
But Freke recovered to save O’Toole’s shot.
The drought continues
It was another frustrating night for Newcastle striker Roy O’Donovan, who has still scored 49 goals in the A-League.
The Irishman, who returned to the Jets mid-last season after falling out of favor with then Brisbane manager Robbie Fowler, has now played five games in two seasons, including four this season, without a goal.
Perhaps O’Donovan was lacking in confidence and failed to get a low cross from the six-yard box early in the competition.
He forced a good save against goalkeeper Macklin Freke in the 25th minute, but it was otherwise another quiet night for O’Donovan, who was replaced with 12 minutes remaining.