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Jets beat Reds despite goalkeeper howler

NZN 16/12/2016 Emma Kemp

Danish attacker Morten Nordstrand has spared Jack Duncan's blushes after his disastrous own goal, scoring in the dying seconds to defeat Adelaide 2-1 and thrust Newcastle into the A-League's top six.

Substitute Nordstrand, in his first game back from injury, scored a 94th-minute winner to add to Andrew Nabbout's first-half opener and cancel out Duncan's goalkeeping howler, which appeared certain to throw away victory on Friday night.

The calamity went down in the 68th minute when, with Newcastle well in control, Isaias curled a free-kick into the box.

Attempting a two-fisted clearance on the slippery surface at McDonald Jones Stadium, Duncan instead punched the ball into the ground and then his own net.

It was the 23-year-old's second match-changing mistake against the Reds this season after he clattered into teammate Daniel Mullen in the opening round to hand them a 1-1 equaliser.

Nevertheless, the result marks the Jets' first triumph over Adelaide in two years and caps a two-week revival that's lifted them from ninth place into, at least temporarily, finals contention.

Meanwhile, Guillermo Amor's last-placed defending champions sink further into the quagmire of a sorry season in which they have six points from 11 games.

It wasn't for a lack of chances, and the Reds could have scored twice in quick succession when Henrique's deflected shot trickled wide just before Iacopo La Rocca's header hit the post in the first half.

Sergio Cirio would have had one before his teammates had Duncan not put a glove on his stirring third-minute effort.

But Mark Jones' men were in an enterprising mood after last week's morale-boosting 2-1 upset of Perth

And in the end they drew first blood via one of the league's most-improved players in Nabbout.

The in-form Wayne Brown fed Devante Clut, who cleverly drew an opponent and sent a pinpoint pass to Nabbout.

The livewire winger's reaction was just as precise, taking a touch before calmly drilling low past Eugene Galekovic.

Though United fought for an equaliser they left their resolve in the dressing room at halftime.

The Jets stayed in the hunt and Andrew Hoole found dangerous areas but misplaced his decision-making skills at the final touch.

He hit the post in the dying minutes and Brown was also denied, leaving Nordstrand to seal the match with his second goal of the campaign.

"Magnificent result," Jones said.

"I got a heart attack but we played again for 90 minutes and hung in there, and no better reward than to score late and get a result."

Jones described Duncan's error as "irrelevant".

"It wasn't his greatest moment this year, but he's saved more than he's let in," he said.

"We move on. I'm not too fussed about that at all."

Adelaide coach Guillermo Amor praised his team for fighting for three points instead of trying to hold onto a draw.

"I like one thing: the mentality of the team. It's 1-1 and the team thinks, 'We'll go for a win'," he said.

"We go with risk. I like this."

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