NEWCASTLE Jets resumed their revolution under coach Carl Robinson with a stunning come-from-behind 2-1 win over Sydney FC at Jubilee Oval on Tuesday night.
In their first game in four months, the Jets outplayed the runaway leaders but it took a last-minute goal from substitute Kosta Petratos to secure all three points and ensure Sydney have to wait at least another game to claim the premiers' plate.
The Jets moved to 27 points and are three points behind sixth-placed Adelaide, but have only nine points to play for.
"We were in a very good run of form prior to the break and the boys have picked it straight back up," Robinson said. "It was a terrific result and everyone of my players in their deserves a lot of credit.
"It was a great game for us because we had nothing to lose. Teams who have games in hand are in the driving seat. We need to win probably four games to get into the play-offs. It's not in our hands and if other teams take care of business we might just fall a little bit short. What we can do is play the way we did tonight and get as many points on the board."
Anthony Caceres put the home side ahead in the 25th minute with their only shot on target for the contest.
Nick Fitzgerald equalised with a stunning scissor kick in the 58th minute.
It was Fitzgerald's second goal in two games after he opened the Jets' account in the 2-1 win over Melbourne City before the league was suspended. That goal ended a near two-year drought.
It appeared as though the Jets would have to be content for a draw - enough to give the Sky Blues the premiers' plate.
But Petratos, a 78th-minute substitute, snatched all three points with his first A-League goal, turning away from a defender and angling a shot from the edge of the box into the right corner.
The win was no less than the Jets deserved. They dominated possession, constantly threatened and pressed effectively.
"I was disappointed to go behind against the run of play and we weren't clinical enough in the final third in the first half,"Robinson said. "I let them know and they took in on board and there were two wonderful finishes in the second half."
Robinson emphasised in the lead up to the Jets' first competitive match since March that the players in the best physical shape would start. Regulars before COVID-19, Dimi Petratos and Abdiel Arroyo, were left on the bench for Angus Thurgate and Bernie Ibini. Petratos was coming back from minor knee surgery.
The visitors had the better of possession in the opening stages and crafted the first clear chance in the fifth minute when Ibini burst past two defenders but sprayed his shot high. Ibini was in everything, turning and muscling his way through tackles.
With the Jets playing a high defensive line, Sydney looked to knock balls in behind for quick men Kosta Barbarouses and Adam Le Fondre.
But is was a piece of brilliance from Alex Baumjohann which put the Sky Blues ahead. The German playmaker played a one-two with Rhyan Grant and then shrugged off Thurgate before splitting the defence with a low cross for Caceres, who got a toe in front of Matt Millar and poked home.
The Jets nearly equalised a minute later when Van der Saag turned over possession but keeper Andrew Redmayne denied Roy O'Donovan, sticking out his left leg and knocking the shot around the post.
The Jets led every statistic at the break bar the most important one. They had 53 per cent of the ball, led the corner count 5-1 and crafted nine shots to two.
The second half started in the same vein, with the Jets on top. O'Donovan beat Redmayne but not the right post in the 52nd minute after Nikolai Topor-Stanley won possession up the field.
Finally the goal came and it was a spectacular strike at that. Millar drove a cross for Fitzgerald to crash a volley on the turn.