Newcastle should have won this game. The Japanese and their Brazilian teammates were absent from the final 3rd and very poor in their defensive 3rd. Saved by their keeper. Up the other end, Ben Kennedy was virtually untroubled.
Jesic made the first goal on 7 minutes, running forward and into the centre untroubled by the Nagoya defence. His shot rebounded for Elrich to finish. And Newcastle led most of the match.
In the 2nd half the Japanese threw wave after wave at Newcastle. And finally drew a foul from Adam Griffith, for a brilliant set piece goal that left Kennedy standing still.
Gary Von Egmond will be hoping he can play this team for the A-League. But he won't get it for the next game. In some unbalanced refereeing Newcastle picked up 5 yellow cards to Nagoya's 0. yet at a minimum one of Nagoya's Brazilians earned a yellow for repeated abuse and decent to the ref and assistant. This is how you ref to home crowds!
Ljubo, despite disappearing to Melbourne and being coached back a week ago, had a great game and will be an asset if he can hold it together. Thompson was fantastic and nearly fashioned a goal from nothing with a cross from the right in the 2nd half.
So far Central Coast and Newcastle are placing the A-League at least at the heels of the best in Asia.