Rojas double gives Victory 3-2 win

By Guy Hand,


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    Two extraordinary Marco Rojas goals saved Melbourne Victory from themselves, as they beat a spirited Newcastle Jets 3-2 at AAMI Park to close in on the A-League top two.

    The Victory squandered a two-goal lead and total first-half dominance as the Jets fought back to level at 2-2 with 17 minutes left.

    But just 60 seconds after Emile Heskey’s equaliser, New Zealander Rojas produced a goal of freakish skill, controlling a ball which rebounded towards him in the box, spinning and volleying for a winner befitting a pulsating match.

    After league leaders Central Coast and second-placed Adelaide United both lost this week, the Victory have now climbed to outright third – just two points adrift of the Reds.

    The Victory looked in total control going into halftime, with a first 45 minutes oozing with magic and menace which would have made both the Mariners and Reds as uncomfortable as it did the Jets.

    Rojas, who had been dangerous on the left, launched a stunning strike on 33 minutes for the opener.

    His unstoppable 20-metre strike with the outside of his right foot bent away from Newcastle goalkeeper Mark Birighitti at warp speed to find the net.

    Rojas then teamed with the excellent Billy Celeski to present Archie Thompson an easy finish for Victory’s second right on halftime.

    But Victory’s first half of magic was followed by a second half of illusion.

    The Jets kept working hard, and winger James Virgili forced Victory’s makeshift centre-half Leigh Broxham – outstanding all night – to make a vital clearance off the line early in the second half.

    Then skipper Ruben Zadkovich belted a 25-metre strike past Victory keeper Nathan Coe in the 64th minute to give the Jets a lift.

    When Heskey took advantage of some dithering Victory defence on 73 minutes, the Jets were back in business, before Rojas donned his cape.

    Newcastle had a great chance to equalise with just two minutes left, but Coe made a superb point-blank save from substitute Adam Taggart’s shot.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • December 29th 2012 @ 8:34am
      pete4 said | December 29th 2012 @ 8:34am | ! Report

      Well all you could say about this match is it was a superb game. The A-League Championship is wide-open this year…

    • December 29th 2012 @ 8:36am
      MV Dave said | December 29th 2012 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      One of the great games of A league with some world class goals and amazing misses/clearances. Fabulous noisy crowd which felt like many more than the 21,000…it’s a shame these games aren’t on FTA so more could see it. Macro Rojas has scored the 2 best goals of this season already…absolutely brilliant, high quality drama and thrills.
      When we arrived the ticket que snaking onto Swan Street were huge so many were casuals or even newcomers to the game. What a ripper to end the year for Victory. Makeshift defence was dodgy at times but we always have the goal scoring threat at the other end. Thought Hesky was good also and Jets played their part in this thriller. Game of the season so far?

      • December 29th 2012 @ 8:46am
        pete4 said | December 29th 2012 @ 8:46am | ! Report

        Certainly think it’s in the top 3 games so far. Another terrific ad for A-League football anyway

    • December 29th 2012 @ 11:08am
      stu said | December 29th 2012 @ 11:08am | ! Report

      This season has produced the best game quality than any other season. On the field and with the crowd influence. I have always felt it would take at least 10 years for the game to be a real alternative for broadcasters and advertisers and I feel we are on the way to taking the game to a new level. Congratulations to the players, FFA, club administrators and the fans as the hard work has only just begun.

    • December 29th 2012 @ 10:31pm
      Ballymore said | December 29th 2012 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

      We know from his Brisbane days that AP doesn’t stand in the way of players moving onto “bigger & better things”. Barbarouses, McKay, De Vere & the Utrecht boys are examples of this. With this in mind I hope Rojas is quickly signed on a long term deal (say 5 years). Not so he stays five (5) years but so MV can extract the largest possible transfer fee. Hopefully in the vicinity of $5m +.

      PS. God I wish he was an Aussie.

      PSS. NZL owes AP a favour. He has turned KB (squad player @ WP before BNE, missed RSA2010) and MR (misfired last year) into real quality players and long-term All White stars.

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