A-League: Newcastle Jets 1 Adelaide United 0
Newcastle Jets all but ended Adelaide United's season with a hard-fought 1-0 win in their A-League clash at Hunter Stadium on Friday.
Tarek Elrich scored the winning goal six minutes before half-time with a nice turn and shot after being picked out in the box via English import Francis Jeffers.
Adelaide were kept fairly quiet for most of the match but showed plenty of desperation in the final 20 minutes and although they threatened a couple of times the Jets were able to hold on for a crucial win.
The three points lift the Jets into fifth place on 31 points with the rest of the round remaining while Adelaide remain on 23 points and will need an unlikely turn of events to secure a top-six finish and subsequent finals place.
The Jets started the game with more intent than the visitors and went close to opening the scoring in the just the third minute when Jeremy Brockie sent at cross from the left wing to the near post where Ryan Griffiths swung his first-time shot narrowly wide of the target.
The match started to settle down but Adelaide received a blow in the 19th minute when Francisco Usucar was forced off with a hamstring injury and replaced by 16-year-old Jacob Melling.
The Jets eventually profited from their pressure when Jeffers showed great vision to pick out an unmarked Erlich in the box with a lovely pass. Elrich took the ball on the turn and slotted a right-foot shot past Eugene Galekovic into the far corner to give Newcastle a 1-0 lead at half-time.
A Ryan Griffiths break down the right wing created the first chance of the second half on the hour mark. The Jets skipper sent a great ball into the box but it beat everyone including a fast-approaching Elrich at the back post.
Adelaide's best chance came in the 80th minute when Jets goalkeeper Ben Kennedy spilt a United corner in a crowded penalty box and Reds defender Osama Malik pounced only to poke his shot wide from an acute angle.