Melbourne Victory have snapped their five-game winless streak – and ended their Hunter Stadium hoodoo – after edging out Newcastle Jets 1-0 on Sunday.
A turgid affair was settled by Fahid Ben Khalfallah’s first goal of the season after an excellent counter-attack, set-up by a great run and pass by Kosta Barbarouses.
It was Victory’s first win in Newcastle in more than six years and puts them just a point behind both Melbourne City and Sydney FC who are third and fourth respectively.
But the Jets winless run has now extended to nine matches as they remain eighth.
0-1 Ben Khalfallah (71’) – A swift counter attack from the visitors ended with Barbarouses playing a superb pass through to the Tunisian who finished clinically with his left foot from just inside the box.
In a game of few chances, the first goal was always going to be crucial but the manner in which the Jets conceded it will infuriate coach Scott Miller.
From their own attacking corner, the Jets were hit by a lightning counter-attack, unable to deal with the pace, vision and skill of Barbarouses and Ben Khalfallah.
With the Jets in such a rut when it comes to scoring goals, it was always going to be a bridge to far for them to get something out of the match.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
*The Jets have failed to score in five games now and set a new club record for time without a goal, now standing at 469 minutes.
*The win was Victory’s first in the Hunter since October, 2009 and just their third in 16 games away against the Jets.
*The shutout was Victory’s first clean sheet in their last nine games.
*It’s no surprise there was no fluency to the match, with a total of 33 Fouls over the 90 minutes.