Abbas scores as Sydney FC beats Jets

By Matt Encarnacion
AAP
Abbas scores as Sydney FC beat Jets

Sydney FC favourite Ali Abbas has capped off a fairytale comeback from a knee reconstruction with a match-sealing goal in his side's 2-0 win over Newcastle at ANZ Stadium.

Exactly 405 days after he was left writhing in agony on the Pirtek Stadium turf, Abbas ensured a maximum three points for the Sky Blues when he finished off a clever 80th minute backheel from Matt Simon.

For the previous 79 minutes, Filip Holosko's first-half goal was the only difference between a stubborn Jets defence that refused to lie down to a dominant home team.

But the introduction of Abbas for a cramping Holosko midway through the second half was greeted with a standing ovation, and then resulted in his Hollywood finish for the crowd of 15,127.

"I don't think it could've been scripted any better," coach Graham Arnold said.

Arnold admitted post-game that he was one of many who had doubted whether the 29-year-old could make it back to the A-League.

"I said to (CEO) Tony Pignata when we were doing the salary cap at the start of the season, I didn't think he'd come back. I honestly thought that he'd struggle to ever get back on the pitch again," Arnold said.

The win cements Sydney's position in fourth spot on the A-League table, just three points behind second-placed Western Sydney ahead of next week's local derby.

For the toothless Jets, the loss extends their winless streak to 10 games, as well as a goal drought that now equals a record six matches.

"Records are there to be broken and we've broken a poor one. There's nothing really more to be said," deflated Newcastle coach, Scott Miller said.

Not a single shot was on target.

Holosko had earlier put his Jets' demons to bed - he spurned five shots against them in round nine - when he showed the younger Nicholas Cowburn a clean pair of heels and beat an advancing Mark Birighitti for his third goal in two weeks.

Arnold's men had the measure of their opposition for most of the first half, limiting the visitors to a single half-chance and spending the majority of the half in Jets' territory.

Sky Blues youngster George Blackwood had a supreme chance to break his A-League duck, but his left-footed effort grazed the far post midway through the first half.