Newcastle ‘disappointed’ with loss after second-half domination of Wellington

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A tale of two halves saw Newcastle Jets seemingly out of the contest in the first half, come out and dominate the second against Wellington Phoenix.

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In a pretty evenly-contest first 45 minutes, it was the Phoenix who went into the sheds two-up with two late goals.

Newcastle head coach Arthur Papas wants his side to concentrate in key moments.

“We let ourselves down, I thought we started really well, there was a passage of about five to seven minutes where we weren’t ourselves,” he said.

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In both halves, the visitors started strong as they straight away went on the attack hunting for goals. They also controlled the possession for the start of the first and second half.

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So what was the passage where Newcastle weren’t themselves?

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With seven minutes to go until half time, the Jets conceded off a free-kick from the right-hand side. The back post was left wide-open for Callan Elliot to smack in a shot that came after an error from keeper Jack Duncan.

Not long after that, the visitors conceded a penalty after a controversial handball. It also came off a free-kick for whom a Phoenix player was left wide-open. Zawada cooly placed his penalty pass Duncan.

Coming into the second-half, Newcastle looked like a different side. They were much more organised and a lot more confident going forward. Despite that, Papas knew that it would be difficult coming from 2-0 behind.

“2-0 at half-time is always going to be difficult in Wellington to come back, we have a terrific response,” he said.

And it was a terrific response from the Jets. Six minutes into the second-half, a ball in from the right-hand side met the diving leg of Manabu Saito who tapped the ball pass Oli Sail into the back of the net.

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After that goal, the confidence from the visitors was an easy recognition for everyone as they went to seek that equaliser.

Yes Newcastle may have lost and yes they are tied on points with sixth-placed Sydney FC but are in seventh thanks to goal difference, but it was a strong second-half performance from the men in Newcastle.

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If they continue to put on a showing like they did in the capital today, then they will be causing havoc in the top-six. While their next game will be difficult against second-place Adelaide and judging by their second 45 showing, then they will be able to challenge one of the top sides in the A-League Men currently and home-advantage will certainly help with that.

Featured image credit: Sproule Sports Focus

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Nick Jensen
Nick Jensen
Journalism Student at Massey University Wellington and a passionate Football Fan, covering the Wellington Phoenix Men and Women for the 2022/23 season.

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