Son of a gun inspires late turnaround as two-goal star ends Roar’s four-game skid

Check out the highlights from a wild match between Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets in their Isuzu UTE A-League Unite Round fixture.

Jay O’Shea converted a 90th-minute penalty after Jonas Markovski scored his first Isuzu UTE A-League to lift Brisbane Roar to a dramatic 3-2 victory over Newcastle Jets.

The Jets dominated the first half and looked on track for maximum points thanks to Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and Phillip Cancar, either side of O’Shea’s 61st-minute leveller at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

After Cancar had put the Jets ahead in the 65th minute, substitute Markovski – the son of NSL legend John – came off the bench to score his maiden A-Leagues goal with eight minutes remaining in the Unite Round showdown.

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As the rain lashed down, Markovski then helped earn a late and contentious penalty – a handball against Dane Ingham following a VAR review, which veteran star O’Shea converted at the death.

It gave Ben Cahn his first win as head coach since being appointed to permanently replace Ross Aloisi, while it snapped Brisbane’s four-game losing streak.

The Jets, meanwhile, are 10th and five points outside the top six.

It was one-way traffic in the opening half as the Jets dominated from the opening whistle.

After two opportunities earlier in the game, Stamatelopoulos broke the deadlock in the 18th minute.

Having had so much joy down the right-hand side, the Jets went down that side again after a sweeping move and Daniel Stynes showed great vision as he cut the ball back for Stamatelopoulos to strike home.

Brisbane were exposed defensively again five minutes later after failing to clear their lines as Trent Buhagiar pounced to put the ball in the back of the net, however, he strayed offside and it was ruled out.

In the 27th minute, Roar goalkeeper Macklin Freke produced two fantastic saves in a matter of seconds to frustrate Newcastle. First, he stayed big to thwart Buhagiar before coming out to deny Clayton Taylor from the resulting corner.

Brisbane were awarded a penalty in the 34th minute following a foul by Kosta Grozos but VAR intervened and it was overturned as Roar head coach Ben Cahn shook his head from the bench.

The Roar – who failed to register any shots on target while ending the first 45 minutes with an xG of 0, were dealt a blow prior to the interval when French star Florin Berenguer was forced from the field.

Newcastle came within a whisker of doubling their advantage in first-half stoppage time when Grozos’ free-kick hit the post with Freke rooted to his line.

The Jets hit the woodwork again, this time within two minutes of the second half getting underway after Buhagiar rattled the post.

Brisbane looked much better in the second half and they levelled proceedings through O’Shea in the 61st minute.

From almost out of nothing, the Irish veteran makes a darting run towards the penalty area and fires a shot low and hard past Jets goalkeeper Ryan Scott.

Brisbane were only on level terms for a couple of minutes as the Jets restored their buffer thanks to Cancar in the 65th minute.

Freke spilled the ball and Newcastle defender Cancar pounced to bundle the ball over the line for his first goal of the season.

With less than 10 minutes remaining, the Roar equalised thanks to substitute Markovski, who used his strength to put the ball over the line from close range.

With two minutes of regulation left to play, Brisbane were awarded a penalty after the referee used his pitch-side monitor to review a potential handball against Ingham, who looked dismayed.

The Talking Point

The first half stats. It made for grim reading if you were a Roar fan.

Brisbane were outclassed in the opening half – they had no shots, no shots on target and an xG of 0. Compare that to Brisbane’s 10 shots, with three of those on target an an xG of 1.52.

The Jets should have been more than 1-0 ahead at the break, but they were made to pay in the end as the Roar rally to snap their losing streak in dramatic fashion.

“The gaffer spoke well. We had to be better,” Roar captain Tom Aldred told Paramount+.

“We didn’t do the basics first half. We didn’t win the first balls, second balls, just going through the motions. We were looking to stay in the game toe be honest with you.

“But a much better second half.”

Roar boss Ben Cahn added: “We could see in the first half we were miles off. We lacked dynamism in possession, we were all over the place out of possession.

“We came with a plan but we struggled to adapt with what Newcastle started the game with. So we just worked through it and had some conversations.”

“Their build-up causes a lot of problems. They leave a lot of bodies high and the four they leave behind are flexible,” Cahn continued.

“We had to find a way to deal with Brandon O’Neill mostly when he went out wide to receive the ball. We had to be braver in pushing bodies in and making sure players did their individual jobs at those moments.”

The Roar won the contest courtesy of a 90th-minute penalty, though it was not without controversy.

Markovski attempted to cross the ball into the box but it took a deflection off Ingham’s leg as it bounced back onto his arm.

VAR stepped in and encouraged the referee to view the pitch-side monitor and it ultimately led to a spot-kick, which was converted.

Jets star Stamatelopoulos was unhappy with the decision.

“I don’t think it’s a penalty at all,” he told Paramount+ after scoring his eighth goal of the season.

“The referees came to us before the season starts and they told us if the ball comes off any part of the body and then hits the hand, it’s not a penalty.

“I don’t understand how it’s a penalty.”

The Star

Who else but evergreen Irishman Jay O’Shea?

The 35-year-old stepped up with a pair of goals to help Brisbane win their first win since December 10.

He has now scored six goals this season – only last term when he found the back of the net nine times has he managed more goals for the Roar.

His first goal was a fine solo effort to restore parity before Cancar put the Jets back ahead.

“Not bad,” O’Shea said of his first goal on Paramount+. “I haven’t done much of that since I’ve been here, used to do a lot of it when I was younger.

“Rolling back the years tonight.”

On the match itself after avoiding a fifth consecutive loss, O’Shea said: “That was massive.

“That is what we spoke about at half-time, we couldn’t let it be five defeats on the trot because it’s then really, really bleak.

“I’m happy for everyone at the club. We needed that win big time.”

What it means

Just like that, Roar are back within not only a point of the top six but fourth-placed Central Coast Mariners.

Back to winning ways, it is a short turnaround for Brisbane – who host Macarthur FC on Thursday night, January 18.

For the youthful Jets, they are five points outside the finals places following two games without a win.

They visit Sydney FC on Friday, January 19.