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ALW: Late strike sinks Jets in heartbreaking loss

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The Newcastle Jets kick-started the Ryan Campbell era with a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Sydney FC on a steamy Sunday evening.

With Gary van Egmond departing the A-League Women’s (ALW) club to take up a role with the Chinese Football Association, effective immediately, his assistant claimed the reins for the first time at Leichhardt Oval.

And, Campbell’s hopes of sharing the competition points in his maiden outing were dashed in the dying seconds, with Zara Kruger breaking the 1-all deadlock.

In fairness, it was a tough fixture for both sides, with drinks scheduled every 15 minutes to combat the excessive heat.

But, they produced an entertaining fixture, highlighted by Matildas star Cortnee Vine, who kept Newcastle on its toes for the entire match.

The hosts put the Jets under pressure from the start.

However, it was the visitors who struck against the run of play.

In the 16th minute, a terrific cross from Lauren Allan found the head of Sarina Bolden, who brilliantly placed the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

That seemed to fire up the Sky Blues with Vine hitting the posts several times, while Princess Ibini, Maddie Caspers and Tori Tumeth also narrowly missed.

Newcastle’s desperate defence – led by Josie Wilson, Claudia Cicco, Tash Prior, Cassidy Davis and goalkeeper Izzy Nino – kept Sydney at bay.

At the other end, Melina Ayres went close, right on half-time, but couldn’t convert.

In the 53rd minute, Vine set up 16-year-old Caspers, who levelled it up at 1-all.

Soon after, the Jets had their best chance, however MelindaJ Barbieri’s direct free kick hit the crossbar.

It appeared the clash was headed for a draw but six minutes into stoppage time, Kruger broke Newcastle’s hearts.

One disappointing aspect of the encounter was Sydney FC’s attention to Lorena Baumann, who was pole-axed on countless occasions.   

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