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2019 Australian A-League, Regular Season
  • Jaushua Sotirio (53')
  • Ulises Davila (69')
  • Abdiel Arroyo (66')

Wellington Phoenix edge past Newcastle as Jets lament horror finishing

Newcastle were made to lament some horror finishing and brilliant goalkeeping as their barren A-League run continued with a 2-1 loss to the Phoenix in Wellington.

The last-placed Jets were also coming to terms with a serious knee injury for in-form defender Lachlan Jackson, who suffered a suspected season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Jackson's team did more than enough to warrant three points at Sky Stadium on Friday but instead had to endure a fourth straight defeat after conceding second-half goals to Jaushua Sotirio and Ulises Davila. The real Wellington hero was goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, who mustered three classy late saves to safeguard his team's seventh win.

Abdiel Arroyo bisected the Wellington scores but the Panama international's composed finish was a rare sight for the visitors, who were particularly wasteful in the first half.

They tallied 28 shots to 12 and 33 crosses to 10 but if Marinovic wasn't getting a limb on shots, they were sailing wide.

Jason Hoffman butchered a gift on the half-hour, skying a chance when given time and space in the centre of the box after a dream pass from the excellent Matthew Millar.

A contender for miss of the season, it summed up a luckless night which extends Newcastle's winless run to eight games.

Interim coach Craig Deans told reporters Jackson had appeared to suffer ACL damage, although scans would need to confirm it.

"He's obviously devastated. You don't want to see that happen to a player," Deans said of one of the league's premier aerial defenders.

"He's 24, he's got a lot of potential and still a huge amount of improvement in him If he misses the next 8-12 months, that's disappointing for him."

Wellington cemented fourth place, capitalising on two of their few opportunities through the brilliance of Mexican schemer Davila.

Substitute Sotirio scored two minutes after entering in the 51st minute, side-footing home Davila's pinpoint through ball.

Davila's 10th goal of the season capped a 16-minute burst of scoring, the ball falling kindly after Alex Rufer's long-range shot was deflected.

Arroyo's goal also came from a deflected Dimitri Petratos shot.

They pushed hard for a late equaliser, coming closest when captain Nigel Boogard's close-range header forced a reaction save from Marinovic, who was even better when his thrust-out left leg denied Kaine Sheppard's close-range blast.

Boogard's impact in central defence following a 10-week injury rehabilitation was obvious, overseeing a composed defensive display.

After rebounding from last week's loss to Brisbane, a bye will be welcomed by Wellington coach Ufuk Talay.

"I thought we were good in patches. Every time we actually got down the ball and played and strung 2-3 passes together, we started to look dangerous," Talay said.

"It was one of those games where we weren't at our best but three points and we move on."