Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Jets Miss Chance to Climb

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Jets Miss Chance to Climb

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE have squandered a golden opportunity to close the gap on the A-League top four, allowing two penalty goals as Wellington escaped with a 2-2 draw at EnergyAustralia Stadium today.

The defending A-League champions seemed set for just their second win of the season before busy Phoenix import Leilei Gao fell dramatically after a Matt Thompson challenge in the dying minutes.

With much of the 8492 crowd screaming in protest, Shane Smeltz calmly finished the 90th-minute spot kick - his second of the match - as a rainstorm swept the ground.

Smeltz's 52nd-minute penalty had the Phoenix sniffing back-to-back wins for the first time in their short history, but Jets goals to Tarek Elrich and substitute Kaz Patafta in the space of nine minutes looked likely to settle the issue.

The fact it didn't left Jets coach Gary Van Egmond fuming.

"It's frustrating at home and not getting the full points," he said. "If you want to be a serious contender we need to win those ones. …

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