Newcastle Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard and substitute Matthew Ridenton were the extra-time heroes as the Jets beat Indonesian club Persija Jakarta 3-1 in the Asian Champions League qualifier at McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday night.
Boogaard struck in the 101st minute when Ben Kantarovski’s header from a corner found him unmarked at the far post. Ridenton then kicked off celebrations in the 120th minute with a header off a Nick Cowburn free kick.
The visitors’ best chance to take the lead came when Novri Setiawan scuffed a shot from point-blank range in the fifth minute of extra time off a great run and cross from Riko Simanjuntak. But the Jets dominated extra time and deserved the win.
Ridenton had a shot tipped over the bar and fired another straight at keeper Andritany Ardhiyasa, as did Cowburn, before they combined for the sealer.
The Jets now play defending champions Kashima Antlers next Tuesday night in Japan for a spot in the ACL group stage.
Newcastle had gone ahead on 49 minutes when Roy O’Donovan squared a ball for Ronny Vargas to score from close range. Persija equalised in the 72nd minute when Rizki Ramdani Lestaluhu hit a long-range header off a corner kick from Simanjuntak that bounced in off the crossbar.
There were few other chances in the second half but there was drama in the 89th minute. O’Donovan played on quickly at a resumption from an injury break, only to miss his one-on-one shot. Persija players showed their anger at the attempt and tempers threatened to boil over.
The Jets had the lion’s share of chances in the first half but poor touches in the penalty area proved costly.
Petratos (32nd minute) and O’Donovan (45th) went one-on-one with the goalkeeper but heavy touches gave Ardhiyasa the chance to save.
O’Donovan had another great chance in the 33rd but his lunging attempt off Daniel Georgievski’s cross glanced his shoulder and went wide.
Simanjuntak was a standout for the visitors in attack down the right side but Jets keeper Glen Moss was rarely called into action.
Croatian striker Marko Simic started for Persija despite appearing in a Sydney court on Tuesday morning on charges of committing an act of indecency without consent and one count of common assault on board an overseas flight.
Simic, who was released on conditional bail, was alleged to have indecently touched a female passenger on the flight from Bali. The 31-year-old was booed and jeered by the crowd every time he was on the ball.