Sydney FC edge 10-man Jets after Boogaard own goal
Newcastle Jets slumped to a third straight defeat after Nigel Boogaard's own goal gifted Sydney FC a 1-0 victory at Jubilee Stadium on Saturday.
Jets skipper Boogaard turned Brandon O'Neill's cross into his own net in first-half stoppage time to leave the visitors 10 points adrift of the Finals Series places.
Their afternoon went from bad to worse when Jason Hoffman was sent off for kicking out at midfielder O'Neill as the Sky Blues eased to a fifth win in six matches, moving them level on points with second-placed Melbourne Victory.
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Already missing Milos Ninkovic due to illness, Sydney FC lost Jacob Tratt to a suspected groin problem inside 10 minutes and their early irritation grew when Alex Brosque turned Siem de Jong's promising cut-back into team-mate Adam Le Fondre.
Johnny Koutroumbis neatly threaded Roy O'Donovan through on goal at the other end but, from a narrow angle, the striker steered his finish into the side netting.
The experienced Glen Moss had earlier parried a Le Fondre half volley and continued to justify his recall by tipping over the Englishman's inventive effort from the edge of the area in the 19th minute.
Both defences remained on high alert throughout an entertaining opening 45 minutes as Andrew Redmayne palmed away a swerving Jair cross, before Steven Ugarkovic hooked Daniel De Silva's cute finish off the line.
A first-half opener always appeared likely and it arrived in fortuitous circumstances for the home side with O'Neill's wicked ball in behind tempting an outstretched Boogaard into poking past Moss.
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Le Fondre, goalless in the 1-1 draw between the teams in November, blazed over when presented with a fine chance to double the margin after the interval.
Ernie Merrick introduced Kaine Sheppard and Joey Champness in an attempt to spark a response, but any hope of a fightback was snuffed out by Hoffman's retaliation to a tangle with O'Neill in the 73rd minute.
Moss again denied the profligate Le Fondre at point-blank range in the late stages of normal time but one goal proved enough for Steve Corica's men to secure a fourth successive victory at Jubilee Stadium and maiden clean sheet at the venue.