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Victory beat Jets in five-goal thriller

By Chris Pike
28 December 2012 11:57PM EST

MELBOURNE Victory continues to close in on second spot in the A-League after a 3-2 victory over the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Friday night.

The Victory led 2-0 at half-time in front of 21,054 fans at AAMI Park, but the Jets fought back thanks to two goals in nine minutes in the second half before Marco Rojas' second of the game in the 75th minute was enough to secure the home side the 3-2 win.

With second-placed Adelaide United now having lost two games in-a-row, the Victory are just two points behind them in third spot and just four points behind the league-leading Central Coast Mariners.

The Victory, through Rojas, took the lead in the 34th minute and then looked in control at half-time after Archie Thompson added his fifth goal of the season just before the break.

However, Newcastle was creating its chances and that paid off in the second half firstly when Ruben Zadkovich scored in the 64th minute and then Emile Heskey added a second in the 73rd to tie scores at 2-2.

It took just two minutes for Rojas to score his second and what eventually was the match-winner, but it was all Newcastle in the dying stages doing all the attacking. They couldn’t quite find an equaliser, though, despite dominating possession and territory.

Victory coach Ange Postecoglou was happy with the win in the end, but it was quite the rollercoaster ride once again at home to get there.

"Every club wants to make their home ground a fortress, but ours is becoming an amusement park with thrills every week. The punters are getting their money's worth, but it was good to win," Postecoglou said.

"I thought our first half was brilliant and was as good as we've played, but they are a threat with crosses coming in and we didn’t have the biggest side in today. I was a little bit annoyed with the first goal because I was trying to get a substitution made and we didn’t make it.

"Then they got a bit of momentum and they are a dangerous side in that circumstance. Yes we could have defended better, but I thought even before that we had opportunities to finish off the game and we didn’t. It was still fantastic character from our boys."

Jets coach Gary van Egmond felt his team played much better than the 3-2 scoreline suggests and believes it's just the odd defensive lack of awareness and anticipation that is letting his side down.

"Even in the first half I thought that it wasn’t a two-nil ball game. I thought we actually controlled large parts of it, but to Victory's credit they took the initiative when they had the chances when they were in front of goal," van Egmond said.

"I thought again that we controlled the mainstay of the second half and got ourselves back into the contest, but then were a little bit naïve in situations and unfortunately coughed up another goal.

"I'm proud of the boys and I thought they were excellent tonight, but it's the little areas in regards to organising before the ball gets into an area that let us down. You can defend a lot better when you do that instead of trying to defend when the ball gets in the area. It's just about the organisation and reading of the game we need to work on."

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