Twin Trifunovic strikes halt City's premiership push

Melbourne City have fallen six points behind the A-League leaders after a shock 2-1 loss to the misfiring Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

In a bright first half, the Jets carved out a few excellent openings for Milos Trifunovic, Ener Alivodic and late inclusion Mitch Cooper.

And despite a penalty shout for City – correctly waved away by the referee late in the first half – it was the home that shaded the contest going into the break 0-0.

But the game soon sparked into life in spectacular fashion, the Jets picking up the tempo to shock City taking the lead with a penalty.

And with Jacob Melling’s red card just after the hour, the Jets sensed it might be their day. It was with a second goal coming shortly after.

But a brilliant Bruno Fornaroli goal with 11 minutes to go made the final few minutes tense for the home side, but the Jets held on to register a much-needed three points, their fifth win of the season.

GOALS

Jets: Trifunovic 46’ (pen) 1-0

Hoffman worked the space in the box and his shot was illegally blocked by Clisby’s arm, and Trifunovic subsequently sent Sorensen the wrong way with a coolly taken pen.

Jets: Trifunovic 71’ 2-0

Nordstrand ran free down the right and his inch-perfect low ball into the box found Trifunovic who confidently stroked home past Sorensen.

City: Fornaroli 79’ 2-1

The Uruguayan held up the ball brilliantly in the box in heavy traffic, found space and dinked the ball over to Fitzgerald wide and his cross found the head of the star striker to power home a brilliant goal.

KEY MOMENT

Melling’s red card for City following a push on Nordstrand. It made the comeback even more difficult for City.

TREATMENT TABLE

Harry Novillo appeared to jar his ankle early in the second half.

FINAL WORD

Melbourne City go into their derby with Victory needing to rediscover their form after a disappointing display in their second loss in as many weeks.

As for the Jets, they clearly weren’t going to get smashed again – as they did when this fixture was played last December and in their last home game.

They showed defensive solidity and were bright in attack with Ugarkovic and Leonardo impressing as did Nordstrand off the bench.

It just goes to show, in this league, anyone can beat anyone on their day.

And this day was for Jets fans. After a tough week they'll be smiling.

TEAMS

NEWCASTLE JETS  (4-2-3-1) Birighitti (GK); Hoffman, Mullen, Boogaard (C), Cowburn; Ugarkovic, Poljak; Alivodic, Leonardo (Nordstrand 63’), Cooper (Pavicevic 82’); Trifunovic.

Subs: Kennedy (GK), Watson, Pavicevic, Nordstrand, Jackson.

MELBOURNE CITY (3-4-3) Sorensen (GK); Clisby, Malik (Trifiro 81’), Kisnorbo (C); Zullo, Melling, Retre (Fitzgerald 53’), Franjic; Fornaroli, Mooy, Novillo

Subs: Bouzanis (GK), Fitzgerald, Dekker, Garuccio, Trifiro.

Yellow cards

Jets: Hoffman, Ugarkovic, Cowburn

City: Malik, Clisby, Sorensen, Franjic

Red cards:

City: Melling

Conditions: Sunny, 25 degrees

Attendance: 7,266