Jets edge past Persija in extra time

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Nothing straight forward about that win for Newcastle

It took them 120 minutes, but Newcastle Jets are one step closer to playing in the Asian Champions League after beating Persija Jakarta 3-1 at Hunter Stadium on Tuesday night. 

Newcastle started the match on the front foot but failed to make the most of their early dominance with attackers Dimitri Petratos and Roy O'Donovan guilty of spurning great chances after half an hour. 

A heavy touch letting Petratos down before just minutes later O'Donovan was unable to steer the ball home with goal gaping following an incisive cross.

Having spent much of the first 45 minutes in their own half, Persija almost found the breakthrough in injury time as Marko Simic put an acrobatic effort just over the crossbar. 

After the break, the Jets finally found their mark in front of goal with Ronald Vargas opening the scoring in the 49th minute.

The Venezuelan able to tap home from close range after Kaine Sheppard released O'Donovan with the Irish striker able to square the ball up for Vargas to bury.

Despite going behind, Persija didn't let their heads drop and found a surprise equaliser in the 72nd minute via Ramdani Lestaluhu after his thumping header couldn't be cleared off the line following a corner. 

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With 90 minutes not enough to split either side, Jets captain Nigel Boogaard stepped up in extra time as he rifled home from the back post in the 101st minute.

Matthew Ridenton would then seal a 3-1 win for Newcastle late in the game as Persija fell short in their pursuit of an upset. 

Ernie Merrick's men must now back up in the A-League against Melbourne City on Friday before travelling to Japan to take on Kashima Antlers next Tuesday where the winner will claim a spot in the ACL group stages. 

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