4 May 2020
We did it. Newcastle Jets have won the playoff series and are A-League Champions for 2020. It was a battle, winning the semi-final on penalties, and then prevailing in the final to record our first victory over Melbourne Victory for the season.
The ultimate prize is to qualify for the Asian Champions League group stage. Now sit back and enjoy the playoff series review!
Blow by Blow
Elimination Final Draw
The Elimination finals are upon us. As previously mentioned, the third and fourth teams have home games with third getting sixth and fourth getting the fifth ranked side.
First Elimination Final
Third placed Melbourne Heart hosted sixth placed Wellington Phoenix. The Phoenix were long shot outsiders.
Wellington Phoenix went 1-0 up through a Bryan Moss goal, however were unable to hold on. Key player Goran Ben Sari was forced off injured an d with the Phoenix down to 10 men Melbourne Heart piled on the pressure. Two late goals were enough to crush the dream.
Second Elimination Final
This match was expected to a much closer affair as there was not a lot between these two sides. The result of the first elimination final meant that we will get to play the winner of this match.
The match was a close affair and despite both teams having chances it went into the break 0-0. A 69th minute goal by Kyle Blackmore broke the game open and a 72 minute Yannik Djordevic thunderbolt was sufficient to give the win to Adelaide.
First Semi Final
In an all Melbourne affair, the Victory play host to the Heart in what promises to be a good contest. Melbourne Heart hold a 1-2-0 record over the Victory in the regular season. The Victory are slight favourites.
Capcaldi scores a blinder to give the Victory the lead, and it was all one-way traffic in the first half. Paul equalised with an equally good finish to level the game up. All square after 90 mins, so extra time. The match went to penalties and it was the Victory who came out on top to book a place in the final.
Second Semi Final
We host Adelaide Untied in the second semi final. We have split the games 1-1-1 this season.
We field our first choice side with Rory Adams back from injury.
We absolutely battered them but couldn’t find a way to win in regulation. We got the lead through an early own goal and set out to hold onto the lead. Beltran gave away a penalty but the attempt was blazed wide. With time almost up we blew our defensive assignments and they equalised. Extra time was a repeat of the match with us battering away but not finding an opening.
Penalties went goal for goal and ended up 7-6 when “The Major” saved Santi’s penalty, the 14th penalty of the shoot-out.
The big game with the two teams who were front running the competition for most of the season. Each had solid runs and each fell away. This will be a humdinger of a match. We haven’t beaten the Victory yet this season, with a loss and two draws when these sides met during the season.
We make two changes to the team for the final, with Christopher Robinson replacing Ray McDonough on the left wing. McDonough drops to the bench replacing Nikos Koumantarous as I gamble that we will have no injuries at the back.
Devid Carli gets us off to a great start as he heads home a good Dobson pass. He misses another chance heading over . He takes his third opening well and we lead 2-0. The come back and hit the bar and then shoot wide. Carli misses a golden chance for his hat-trick after a great pass from “The Count”. Dobson puts another good chance wide, before the Victory miss a great chance to pull a goal back. That ends the first half at 2-0 to the Jets.
We have a golden opportunity to make it three as Carli once again heads wide to miss his hat-trick. On the rebound the Victory put a sitter wide from close range. We tighten up and last thirty minutes of the second half lack chances as both sides cancel each other out. The final whistle sounds with the final score 2-0 to the Jets!
We win the league, although the media portrays it as doing a double. We don’t care about semantics, we care about results!
Devid Carli was top goalscorer with his two goals in the final.
This was the goal all along. Qualify for the Champions League. I didn’t expect to do it in the first season, however. From what I can see this will be a tough competition as the league rules with salary cap may limit the development of teams.
Devid Carli becomes the clubs all-time league goal scorer.
As expected, the board love us! What more could you desire!!!
End of Season summary and the off season. This is rather long here so may be two episodes depending on how things play out.