NEWCASTLE Jets are still searching for their first win of the season after a 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory in Saturday night’s grand final re-match at McDonald Jones Stadium.
After a 2-1 loss in Wellington and 1-all draw in Adelaide, the Jets were hoping home turf would provide sanctuary, but instead they found themselves on the wrong end of the same scoreline as in last season’s championship decider.
In contrast, after their first three games last season the Jets had two wins and a draw to their name.
Newcastle must now regroup and prepare for a daunting fourth-round assignment, at home to competition leaders Sydney FC next Saturday night.
Melbourne’s goal came from a long-range Terry Antonis shot, which beat the outstretched hand of Jets goalkeeper Glen Moss.
Newcastle enjoyed the best of the chances in the first half, in particular when Ronny Vargas hit the crossbar with a 12th-minute chip.
There was a groan from the home-town fans, followed by a cheer, when Kosta Barbarouses put the ball in the net in the 49th minute, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside.
The decision was confirmed by the Video Assistant Referee.
Six months previously, in last season’s grand final, a VAR-system malfunction allowed a goal by the same player to stand, despite replays indicating he was also offside.
‘That proved to be the difference between the two sides as Newcastle suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat.