A-League: Brisbane Roar FC 1-2 Newcastle Jets
A gruesome injury to Ronald Vargas has soured Newcastle’s 2-1 A-League victory over Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
The Jets continued their unbeaten start to the new season courtesy of goals from in-form striker Roy O’Donovan and former Roar midfielder Dimitri Petratos.
However, it came at an enormous cost.
Venezuela international Vargas was stretchered from the field after a seemingly innocuous collision with Brisbane skipper Matt McKay in the 58th minute.
The 30-year-old’s left leg became trapped underneath him, causing him to break his tibia and fibula while also dislocating his ankle.
McKay called for medical attention as soon as it happened while curious players turned away once they saw the extent of the damage, with sideline commentators reporting Vargas’ bone had come through his sock.
“The win means nothing, really,” Jets coach Ernie Merrick said after the match, fighting back tears. “It’s one of the worst [injuries I’ve seen].
“He was just loving life in Newcastle… he’s just come over with his wife, settling in, good lad. It was a big move for him and I guess he’ll be going to the surgeon tonight.”
Brisbane coach John Aloisi said it was a tough moment for everyone involved in the match.
“No one wants to see anyone get injured, especially like that,” Aloisi said. “I know Matt McKay was distraught, he found it hard to get going again because to see it and be right next to it …
“We just wish him a good recovery and hopefully we get to see him play again because he’s a quality player as well.”
Brisbane handed a starting debut to new French recruit Eric Bautheac, who showed some encouraging touches before being withdrawn at half-time.
The Roar thought they had an equaliser in the 70th minute after Massimo Maccarone split two defenders and found the back of the net with a terrific individual run.
But it was disallowed by video assistant referee Peter Green, who spotted Maccarone straying offside in the build-up to the move — much to the anger of the 10,104 supporters in attendance at Suncorp Stadium.
Compounding the pain of their third straight defeat, Brisbane left-back Corey Brown appeared to pull his hamstring and was forced off before halftime.
Ronald vargas @ronaldvargas10 sufrió rotura de tibia y peroné y tobillo dislocado durante el partido disputado por su equipo ante el Brisbane Roar este domingo. #FuerzaRonita pic.twitter.com/oOoSAlKkfv
— RonaldVargasNews (@RVargas10News) October 22, 2017
Newcastle opened the scoring in the 12th minute through O’Donovan, who put away an inch-perfect cross from Ivan Vujica to score his fifth goal in just three games.
They handed the hosts a lifeline in the 42nd minute when Nigel Boogaard turned the ball into his own net for the fifth time in his A-League career.
However, parity lasted less than two minutes. Just before the break, Petratos came back to haunt his old side with a rasping drive from the edge of the penalty area that found the top corner.