Eckerstrom stands tall but heroics not enough in Jets defeat
It was a performance worthy of a victory but Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom will leave Jubilee Oval with nothing as her side went down to Sydney FC 3-1 on Friday evening.
The American shot stopper singlehandedly, literally at times, kept her team in the game, pulling off save after save as the home side’s attack swarmed the Jets backline.
REPORT: Sky Blues down Jets
There was a fantastic double save within two minutes to deny Savannah McCaskill from close range, firstly blocking a header before getting low to see off her compatriot’s curling strike.
She also had to be on her toes early to tip away a tricky effort from another American, Danielle Colaprico, with her backline all at sea under immense pressure from the Sky Blues.
All up Sydney fired off 29 shots with 14 of them requiring attention from Eckerstrom for an incredible total of 11 saves.
The three that did sneak past were almost unstoppable as Eckerstrom’s back four left space for Sky Blue shirts to wreak havoc.
Post-match Eckerstrom rued the loss of focus in key areas as the Jets took control of the game late on and could have snatched an equaliser before the third and final goal in injury time.
“There are just moments where we lose focus,” she told Fox Sports.
“Yeah we are missing some people but we can get it done as a team when we are working together, it just has to be all of us focused the whole game, right now we are just lacking in a few moments.
“It’s a belief in each other and ourselves that we can take control of the game and we didn’t finish it all the way through but Libby had an awesome goal today.”
Libby Copus-Brown’s long-range strike in the 82nd minute opened the door for Newcastle but it wasn’t to be as Craig Deans’ side now look certain to miss the finals altogether.
They sit second-bottom on seven points and seven outside the top four but will count themselves unlucky after an effort from Tara Andrews was blocked with the scores at 2-1 heading towards injury time.
Sydney meanwhile continue their recovery after an average start to the season and now sit two points behind fourth placed Perth Glory.