Newcastle Jets 2-2 Western Sydney Wanderers
Above: Newcastle Jets’ Ash Brodigan and Jemma House celebrate. Photo: Newcastle Jets.
By Kris Goman (19/2/22)
This was a hectic game. Considering both teams are out of the finals race, playing for pride is clearly still very important.
A loss by either team would create a record they didn’t want. Wanderers were facing seven losses in a row and the Jets, three matches without a goal. Both avoided these blots in the history books but may have created a new record with the number of yellow cards issued. Twelve yellow cards were issued in total. Six for each team, including both keepers. Fouls aside, or maybe because of them, it was an exciting game marked by a number of goals which has been a rarity for both sides.
Wanderers kicked proceedings off, both literally and figuratively, with an early bout of possession and numerous attempts. Liv Price tried an early shot from way downtown that was saved. Then Libby Copus-Brown broke free of the defence and got a shot into the low right side of goal that was punched away by Coelho.
In the 12th minute Tiana Jaber earns the first yellow after a tussle with Teigan Collister.
Ashlie Crofts continues the pressure with a run down the left and approaches the box but her shot is to the right of goal. Then Danika Matos passes to Crofts who crosses but it’s cleared by Jets.
Elizabeth Eddy eases the pressure when she gets the ball and turns and sends it downfield but no one is there and it comes back for free kick. Sarah Langman grabs it safely.
The next attack sees Ashlee Brodigan’s cross end up on the roof of the net. In a near chance for the Jets, Eddy flicks back to Tara Andrews from near the byline but her header is just off target to the right of goal.
Collister gets a clear run down the left. Her cross is cleared to Price standing outside the box and she shoots but Coelho gets to it in the bottom left corner.
Cass Davis takes a free-kick and Langman rises above the oncoming hoards to take an AFL style mark to pluck it out of the air.
Cooper secures the Wanderers’ first yellow at 25 minutes for holding up the free-kick after a foul on Tara Andrews.
Andrews is down with a knee problem at 28 minutes which appears to be the result of the earlier tackle by Cooper. Then Bianca Gallic is down after a clash with Sophie Harding. Then Cooper is also down injured after clashing with Langman. It feels like carnage
Newcastle get a free kick on the edge of box for a tug on Brodigan by Teigan Allen. Cooper tries to head it away but Langman grabs it safely.
Newcastle are much more attacking now, but against the run of play Wanderers manage to sneak one in. Halloway is able to get into the box and pass to Croft. She rolls her marker in front of goal, and shoots high over Coelho’s fingertips. The drought is finally broken and Wanderers take the lead for the first time in a long time and it’s 1-0.
The Jets up the ante as they try to equalize before halftime. Eddy is awarded a free kick near the top of the box. She tries to go over the wall but Langman smothers it. Then a lob comes over for Harding who runs onto it and shoots. Langman comes out to reduce the angle and it works and Harding’s shot is out to the left of goal.
The final attack of the half see Johnson lob over the defence and Eddy gets it but just taps a bouncing ball into the hands of Langman and missed a sitting goal really. In the end, she was offside so it’s a moot point anyway.
The Wanderers go into the second half in an unfamiliar position, in the lead.
From the kickoff, Price takes a long-range shot after Taren King and Crofts collide. It’s too high and there’s a delay as King is treated. Shortly after, King goes off, unable to continue due to the injury, and is replaced by Bethany Gordon.
Collister gets a yellow after a heavy tackle on Johnson. Brodigan gets away and gets a clear shot on goal and Langman, who’s been a hero, saves another goal with a dive to the right. Another attack by the Jets sees Andrews pass to Brodigan who shoots again but wide.
Brodigan once more comes into the box from a pass from Andrews. This time she’s tackled late by Alexia Apostolakis and goes down in the box. Apostolakis gets a yellow and the Jets get a penalty kick. Eddy steps up to take it and goes low to the right and it’s unreachable for Langman. The score is level at 1-1 at 59 minutes.
Wanderers attack again. Halloway tries a through ball but Copus-Brown is offside. Crofts is replaced by Isabella Habuda.
Eddy has an attacking run and shoots and Langman gets a finger to it and it curls out. Wanderers are straight back on the attack and Coelho saves as everyone rushes into goal.
Marie Dølvik is introduced and her impact is immediate as she sends Harding into the clear on the right but her right-footed shot is wide across goal. Dølvik then gets the opportunity to go for goal herself but it’s also wide to the left. Jets have had lots of shots but very few on target.
Wanderers get a free-kick after a Jaber and Collister tackle. Copus Brown kicks to the back post and Gallic tries to head it but can’t connect.
Another foul after another tackle on Collister. Copus-Brown takes it again and Apostolakis breaks free and gets a rebound to belt it on the half volley and go top right with a beautiful strike and it’s in the back of the net. It’s her first goal in the A-League and she becomes the Wanderers’ youngest scorer. It also evens out the penalty that she gave away earlier. Wanderers take the lead again at 76 minutes and it’s 2-1.
Coelho managed to get a yellow during that goal too.
Gordon gives away a free-kick at the top of the box. Massih to take it. She shoots low into the wall and the shot is stopped dead.
Price gets a yellow too for a bad foul. A minute later David gets a yellow. So many yellows in this match. Is this a record?
Langman tries to eat some time by setting up and then moving a goal kick and riles up the home crowd desperate to equalize. She scores a yellow for her troubles. Almost immediately after, Massih gets a yellow for a foul. This is turning into an Oprah show. You get a yellow! You get a yellow!
There’s a couple of corners at the end as five minutes of stoppage time is announced.
Then Dølvik escapes down the left and positions a perfect cross Brodigan who slips it past Langman for a beautiful goal. Cooper has head in her hands as she sees the three points disappear in the dying seconds of the match. This is also Brodigan’s first A-League goal.
But it’s not over until Dølvik gets a yellow too for yet another foul.
In a last-ditch effort, Copus-Brown takes massive strike, and Coelho tips it over spectacularly. With a minute left, Galea does a late tackle on Dølvik and then gives her a slight shove on the way up. The Norwegian turns and gives her a big shove back. Dølvik is on a yellow but the referee decides to have a quiet chat rather than showing her another yellow. Galea also gets a chat and the foul awarded against her. The Jets free kick goes straight to Langman.
Collister trips, but on ball as Gordon tackles her. Wanderers free-kick and Gordon gets the final yellow card of the game, somewhat unfairly. Galea to take it instead of Copus-Brown who is standing out to the left unmarked. Instead of going for goal, Galea passes to Copus-Brown who crosses. It’s cleared as the final whistle blows.
Despite the huge number of fouls and yellows, it’s pretty obvious after the game that most of the players are good friends as they embrace and joke together. Both teams get a point and there’s no impact to the finals race.
Teams: NEWCASTLE JETS: Coelho, Jaber, King, Brewer, Fenton, Eddy, Davis, Johnson, Brodigan, Andrews, Harding. Substitutes: Magus (GK), House, Allan, Dølvik. Markussen, Gordon.
Scorers: Eddy 59’, 90+2’.
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS: Langman, Matos, Apostolakis, Cooper, Allen, Halloway, Galic, Price, Collister, Crofts, Copus-Brown. Substitutes: Khamis (GK), Ralston, Habuda, Galea, Abdul Massih.
Scorers: Crofts 40’, Apostolakis 76’
Referee: Lara Lee