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Victory gain ground on leaders

December 28, 2014 10:03:10 UK

Melbourne Victory closed the gap on A-League leaders Perth Glory to four points as Gui Finkler’s late free-kick earned a 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets.

The Jets looked on course to at least follow up their maiden win of the campaign – against Adelaide United last weekend – with a point at AAMI Park until Finkler struck with five minutes to go.

Besart Berisha was fouled on the edge of the area and Newcastle set up what they felt was an adequate wall, but Finkler curled his shot around them into the top right corner past keeper Ben Kennedy.

Stung into action in an effort to avoid their league-worst seventh defeat of the season, the Jets had late chances to rescue a point. Victory keeper Nathan Coe saved from Jeronimo and then produced a brilliant stop to deny Scott Neville seconds before the final whistle.

Though the two sides are at the opposite ends of the table, they went into the game on the back of contrasting results. It was their loss in the derby to Melbourne City that persuaded Victory coach Kevin Muscat to leave Adrian Leijer and Archie Thompson on the bench.

The home side almost took the lead early in the second half when Kosta Barbarouses fired over from an acute angle beyond the far post.

Fahid Ben Khalfallah, having had their two best efforts of the first half, continued to be Victory’s main threat. He was denied when his low shot was beaten away by Kennedy, then in the 56th minute.

Newcastle Jets areĀ 2.70 to win their next game against Melbourne City, who are 2.50, with the draw 3.40.

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