NEWCASTLE Jets are into the grand final after a 3-2 extra-time victory over Queensland Roar in the preliminary final at Energy Australia Stadium.
Goals from Matt Thompson, Joel Griffiths (penalty) and Tarek Elrich earned the Jets a grand final spot with two penalties from Reinaldo not enough to keep the Roar's dream alive.
Gary Van Egmond made two changes with Stuart Musialik and Adam D'Apuzzo returning to the starting line-up with Noel Spencer and Song Jin Hyung dropping out.
Frank Farina opted not to tinker with his side as the Roar continue with their 4-3-3 approach. Danny Tiatto was on the bench for the Brisbane boys.
The teams are emerging from the tunnel to a rousing reception from the fans in the Hunter sunshine. Here we go......
The referee is Peter Green and he signals the Roar to get proceedings underway.
1 Robbie Kruse is muscled out of the action by the right corner flag by Adam D'Apuzzo.
3 Michael Zullo crosses from the left and although Reinaldo cannot meet the delivery it drops perfectly for Marcinho who inexplicably volleys over the top from four metres. An absolute sitter squandered.
5 Kruse brings down D'Apuzzo just inside the Roar half but the free-kick comes to nothing.
5 Matt Thompson cannot get the better of Craig Moore on the left byline as the Jets try to build a spell of pressure.
6 Agonisingly close for the Jets. Thompson skips past three challenges inside the area before thundering a shot against the left post.
7 Zullo brings down Tarek Elrich but thankfully for the youngster no yellow card.
8 Marcinho bursts forward as a Jets attack breaks down but he overhits a poor ball in the direction of fellow Brazilian Reinaldo.
10 Adam Griffiths is the first player to go into the book for a crunching tackle on Matt McKay. Marcinho's free-kick into the area is hacked clear by Jade North.
12 Zullo threatens to accelerate past Tarek Elrich down the left flank but runs the ball out of play.
13 North plays a ball forward looking for Joel Griffiths but it's easily cut out by Moore.
15 D'Apuzzo penalised for a foul on Kruse. Mass Murdocca tries to pick out Josh McCloughan.
16 Great burst forward down the inside left channel by Sasa Ognenovski but he lacks support and is eventually crowded out by the Jets.
18 Matt McKay takes advantage of a slip by Musialik and thumps a shot across Ante Covic but also wide of the right post.
19 Liam Reddy gets down sharply to his left to turn away an Elrich drive. The offside flag goes up as the home side try to pounce on the rebound.
20 Packer clears Bridge cross from the right as he looks to pick out Thompson.
21 Elrich penalised for bringing down McCloughan on the edge of the Roar area. The Jets are dominating possession by a huge margin and enjoying a good spell.
23 Snap shot from Zullo flies over the top from 20 metres as Reinaldo and Kruse take advantage of a poor clearance from D'Apuzzo to tee up their young colleague.
25 Marcinho threads the ball through the Jets defence to Kruse but the youngster fires wide of the right post. Should have buried it. The Jets have all the territory but the Roar have had (and wasted) the best of the chances.
26 Adam Griffiths crosses from the right and tries to pick out brother Joel. A vital Roar interception from Ognenovski prevents the ball reaching its target.
29 A woeful crossfield pass from Kruse as he attempts to pick out Zullo on the left. Easily gathered by the Jets.
30 A weak effort from Zullo who rushes a poor effort well wide of the left post after being teed up by Marcinho.
31 Zullo again and Zullo squanders the chance again from close range. Covic gathers easily.
32 Reddy gets his fingertips to a Joel Griffiths strike from the edge of the area. It's enough to divert the ball just wide of the right post but the Jets cannot capitalise from the resulting corner.
35 Adam Griffiths cross from the right clatters off McKay for a Jets corner. Reddy gathers confidently from the corner.
36 Kruse cuts in from the left and earns himself a corner. The ball is cleared for a second corner and from the delivery Ognenovski beats Covic at the near post. The ball flies over the top from his header but the Roar man is left with blood pouring from his head after a collision with Adam Griffiths in the process. Ognenovski leaves the field for treatment.
40 GOAL! Bridge crosses from the right Reddy pushes the ball out and there is Matt Thompson to rifle the ball into the left hand corner of the net -his second goal of the campaign.
42 Almost 2-0. Joel Griffiths races clear but can't beat Reddy at the foot of his right post.
43 A bandaged Ognenovski is back on the field of play.
43 James Holland's free-kick is headed clear on the edge of the area.
44 Newcastle are completely on top at this stage. The crowd is really getting behind them and the Roar look a shade rattled.
45 We're into first half stoppage time. The fourth official indicates there will be two added minutes.
The two teams leave the field with the Jets leading 1-0 thanks to Matty Thompson's goal. No question they have dominated play but the Roar have had the better of the chances. Marcinho wasted a glorious chance to give the visitors the perfect start while Zullo and Kruse have both fluffed their lines in front of goal when it mattered most.
The visitors will need to find their shooting boots in the second half and wrestle back some of the territory they have surrendered in large chunks.
The teams have emerged for the second half. Can the Jets finish the job or will the Roar find a way back into the contest?
46 We're underway again with the Jets kicking off the second 45 minutes.
47 Great ball through from Packer but again Kruse's control lets him down inside the area.
48 Reinaldo sent tumbling by Adam Griffiths 25 metres from the Jets goal.
49 Ognenovski takes the resulting free-kick and sends the ball skimming wide of the left post.
51 Durante heads away Zullo's cross from the left byline.
51 McKay links up superbly with Reinaldo and sends a right foot shot not too far wide of the right post.
54 Kruse wins a corner down the right off D'Apuzzo. Thompson heads clear from the set piece.
55 Overhead kick from Zullo inside the area drops harmlessly wide of the left post.
57 Reinaldo gets on the end of a Zullo cross from the left and the ball deflects into Covic's arms off North.
59 Joel Griffiths goes down under challenge from Ognenovski but no foul given.
59 Reinaldo gets to the near post to meet Zullo's cross from the right but steers his shot wide of the left post.
60 First substitution of the game. Troy Hearfield comes on for James Holland.
61 Jade North booked for kicking the ball away.
64 A double change for the Roar. Kruse makes way for Tahj Minniecon while Danny Tiatto comes on for Marcinho.
65 The attendance is 16,021 at EnergyAustralia Stadium.
66 The Roar earn a corner down the right but Moore can only direct Tiatto's set piece over the crossbar.
67 Murdocca effort cleared by North after he is teed up by Zullo.
68 Covic holds on comfortably to Zullo header. All the momentum is with the Roar.
70 Zullo slashes a poor effort wide of the left post.
71 Reinaldo penalised for a nudge inside the Jets area. It eases the pressure on the home side.
74 Moore shot deflects wide of the left post for another Roar corner.
74 Ognenovski clatters into Adam Griffiths. Griffiths is furious. The Roar defender is booked and will miss the grand final if the Roar win this game.
75 Substitution. McCloughan gives way to striker Simon Lynch.
77 Moore brings down Joel Griffiths with a cynical tackle. He is booked by referee Green.
78 A poor corner from Tiatto swings straight out.
80 The Jets have a second goal ruled out by an offside flag. Troy Hearfield's effort is chalked off after he is teed up by Griffiths.
81 D'Apuzzo's inswinging free-kick from the right floats straight out for a goal kick.
83 Two Roar players caught offside as the visitors desperately look for a leveller.
85 Covic punches clear under pressure from Lynch.
88 Griffiths picks out Hearfield but the youngster gets it all wrong on the edge of the area and the Roar clear with ease.
90 There will be three added minutes.
90 Penalty! Simon Lynch is brought down by D'Apuzzo.
92 Goal Up steps Reinaldo, as cool as you like and pops in the spot-kick to Covic's left. His first penalty of the season and what a time to get it!
93 Substitution. Song on for Hearfield. The sub is substituted.
The whistle goes and we are set for extra-time. The Jets are not happy.
The Jets get the first period of extra-time underway.
91 Thompson and Packer clatter into each other and both look in pain.
93 Reddy claims the ball at the feet of Adam Griffiths. The relentless pace shows little sign of dropping.
95 Moore and Joel Griffiths tangle as the Jets man surges goalwards. Moore is hurt and stays down before eventually getting slowly to his feet.
99 Crucial intervention by Murdocca to clear on the edge of the area.
100 Packer penalised for a foul on Joel Griffiths. Song's free-kick from the left deflects out but the referee awards a goal-kick.
103 Penalty! Song brought down by Ognenovski and Mr Green points to the spot. Looked a harsh decision.
104 Goal! Joel Griffiths rams the penalty past Reddy to restore the Jets advantage.
We are at the end of the first period of extra-time.
106 Great work from Ognenovski to thwart Bridge in the area as he prepared to pull the trigger.
109 McKay strike blocked on the edge of the area.
110 Goal! 3-1. Tarek Elrich thunders the ball past Reddy from just inside the area to surely finish off the Roar. What a time to score your first goal in the Hyundai A-League.
112 Red Card. Moore is red-carded for an elbow on Bridge. A sorry end to the night for the Roar skipper.
113 Substitution. Thompson off to a standing ovation. Replaced by Denni.
115 Adam D'Apuzzo goes into the book.
116 A Lynch cross from the left touchline flies straight out for a goalkick.
117 Bridge tries to chip Reddy from distance but can't get the necessary height.
118 Penalty! Elrich penalised for a foul on Zullo. Reinaldo tucks away the spot-kick to make it 3-2. What a match, what a finish.
120 Denni denied by Reddy. Only seconds to go surely?
That's it. The whistle goes and EnergyAustralia Stadium erupts.
Newcastle Jets 3 Queensland Roar 2
Where on earth do you start in trying to sum up this astonishing battle? The Jets had it won, saw it ripped away in the last seconds of normal time and then came again to earn a grand final spot.
Chances, controversial penalties, a red card for Craig Moore, simply cracking stuff.
Terrific entertainment for those in the ground, it seems a crime there were any empty seats, and enthralling for those watching on television.
The Roar will be left to reflect on a lack of killer touch in front of goal but they will no doubt learn from their first finals experience.
As for the Jets, they have the chance to taste revenge against their bitter F3 rivals in a grand final that promises to have the very foundations of the Sydney Football Stadium shaking.
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