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Ninkovic, Ibini guide Sydney to Jets win

AAP logoAAP 4/12/2016 Emma Kemp

Sydney FC have corrected a slight wobble in their A-League season with a 2-0 defeat of depleted battlers Newcastle, but will have to raise the bar further in next weekend's FFA Cup final rematch with Melbourne City.

Two second-half moments of brilliance from Milos Ninkovic and substitute Bernie Ibini made up for a forgettable opening stanza and ensured the Sky Blues remain unbeaten and extend their lead at the top of the table to six points.

Both sides had a woeful number of turnovers but the injury-ravaged Jets endured an unrewarding fight that leaves them in ninth and winless in seven games.

Mark Jones' side showed promise on the counter-attack and Andrew Hoole found space on the right flank, but the former Sky Blues winger was too often without support for it to manifest into anything meaningful.

"The difference was key moments," Jones said.

"We actually got ourselves in good areas in the first half and other times turned it over when we should have kept the ball."

Sydney coach Graham Arnold hoped installing "fresh legs and fresh minds" into his starting XI would be the difference following two draws and Wednesday's FFA Cup final capitulation.

Four changes is the most Arnold has made all campaign and it was telling two of the victims were marquees Bobo and Filip Holosko, who've struggled to maintain their searing early-season form.

In their place skipper Alex Brosque, David Carney and youngster George Blackwood led the attack but lacked a cutting edge.

First-time starter Milos Dimitrijevic was arguably Sydney's strongest performer despite having played just 12 minutes of A-League football this season.

Dimitrijevic delivered a lovely through ball for Brosque early on and laid off the pass for Ninkovic's 63rd-minute goal, though could not take credit for the marauding solo effort of his fellow Serb, who eased past three defenders and drilled home his fifth goal of the season.

As Arnold began to ring the changes the impetus lifted though several chances were blown until Ibini's introduction.

It was only his second A-League appearance since returning from a badly broken leg but the 24-year-old made it count with his first goal since the 2014-15 semi-final against Adelaide.

Running out of space just wide of the penalty area, Ibini employed some slick footwork to weave around two Jets defenders before beating another and making two attempts at Jack Duncan's goal, the second nestling into the corner.

"It wasn't an easy first half ... we got in the right areas to hurt them but the final pass, final decision let us down," Arnold said.

"We spoke at halftime about more composure in the final third and I thought we did that in the second half.

Ben Kantarovski appeared set to join Newcastle's ever-growing treatment table after exiting with a knee problem but Jones said the midfielder would be fine.

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