A fortunate second-half goal from Brisbane proved the difference in a frustrating 1-0 loss for the Newcastle Jets W-League side at McDonald Jones Stadium on Thursday night.
Brisbane led in the 56th minute when Englishwoman Chioma Ubogagu scored after the ball fell into her path close to goal off a miscued shot from Japanese star Yuki Nagasato. A shocked Newcastle’s appeal for offside was denied.
The round-five result lifted Roar to seven points, one above Newcastle, who had 1-0 wins over Canberra and Western Sydney leading into Thursday night.
Both sides created excellent chances but lacked composure in front of goals.
Newcastle coach Craig Deans, who steered the Jets to third place last season, was more disappointed than frustrated after the loss and criticised his side’s effort and long-ball approach.
“I think we just lacked the energy and the commitment, especially in the first half, that we needed to win the game,” Deans said.
“We showed it in the last 10 minutes but it’s probably too late then.
“The last two games we’ve won by a goal and we’ve played OK. And we played, at the moment, two of the weaker teams in the competition, and now they’re up against a better opponent, we got found out.
“So we need to have a good look at ourselves and get back to what we did last year, which was show really good work ethic, really good unity and desire to win.
“If we go away from that and we forget that, we lose our identity a little bit I think.”
The Jets started the better but Roar had the best opportunity when 17-year-old Anna Margraf knocked a point-blank chance wide off a Ubogagu cross in the 18th minute.
American livewire Taylor Smith went close for Newcastle in the 23rd minute when her header off a corner hit the post.
Nagasato tested Jets goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom in the 34th minute but the American made a diving save at her near post.
Newcastle finished the first half missing a golden opportunity when Jenna Kingsley, who scored against Wanderers, sprayed her one-on-one chance over the bar off Smith’s cross.
Chicago’s Arin Gilliland-Wright, who started for Newcastle just a few days after her surprise return to Australia, pulled a shot wide in the 53rd minute after a clever touch from countrywoman Katie Stengel.
Smith had a chance to equalise in the 62nd minute but hit her strike straight at keeper Mackenzie Arnold. Stengel was wide with a header in the 77th and Smith mishit her back-post chance in the 87th as the defending premiers held firm.
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