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Riley McGree’s scorpion kick goal sends Newcastle Jets to first A-League Grand Final in 10 years

Newcastle Jets soared into their first A-League Grand Final in 10 years thanks to an outrageous scorpion kick by Riley McGree.

The young midfielder’s equaliser in the 57th minute against Melbourne City in the semi-final on Friday night led the Jets to a comeback 2-1 win.

After a neat build up of short passing, the ball fell to McGree on the edge of the box who flicked the ball over his head and lobbing Dean Bouzanis in the City goal.

Newcastle Jets soared into their first A-League Grand Final in 10 years thanks to an outrageous scorpion kick by Riley McGree

The young midfielder's equaliser in the 57th minute against Melbourne City in Friday's semi final

The young midfielder’s equaliser in the 57th minute against Melbourne City in Friday’s semi final

The strike sent the 19,000 strong crowd at the McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle into raptures

The strike sent the 19,000 strong crowd at the McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle into raptures

The 19-year-old sent fans at the McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle wild after his side went in at half-time trailing 1-0.

It was one of the most incredible goals in A-League history and the Jets will now face either defending champions Sydney FC or Melbourne Victory in the final.

The two sides face off at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday evening looking to secure a place in the Grand Final next weekend.

McGree’s magical goal sparked the Jets into life in the second half and 15 minutes after the equaliser Newcastle-born local hero Jason Hoffman struck the winner.

After a neat build up of short passing, the ball fell to McGree on the edge of the box

After a neat build up of short passing, the ball fell to McGree on the edge of the box

The midfielder flicked the ball over his head and lobbing over a helpless Dean Bouzanis in the City goal

The midfielder flicked the ball over his head and lobbing over a helpless Dean Bouzanis in the City goal

It was one of the most incredible goals in A-League history and the Jets will now face either defending champions Sydney FC or Melbourne Victory

It was one of the most incredible goals in A-League history and the Jets will now face either defending champions Sydney FC or Melbourne Victory

The ball looped over Bouzanis and into the top corner as fans went crazy around the stadium

The ball looped over Bouzanis and into the top corner as fans went crazy around the stadium

McGree's magical goal sparked the Jets into life in the second half with local hero Jason Hoffman striking the winner 15 minutes later

McGree’s magical goal sparked the Jets into life in the second half with local hero Jason Hoffman striking the winner 15 minutes later

City coach Warren Joyce said his side had to take the defeat on the chin but described McGree’s goal as ‘fortunate to say the least’ before a ‘mistake’ for the second.

‘He’ll never score a goal like that ever in his life [again]. It’s behind him and he just sticks a leg out and it goes in the back of the net,’ he said. ‘But that’s football.’

The youngster later joked on Twitter hinting it might have been a bit of a fluke.

The young Australian midfielder later joked on Twitter hinting he felt it might have been a bit of a fluke

The young Australian midfielder later joked on Twitter hinting he felt it might have been a bit of a fluke

He said: 'Upon watching the replay I actually think I meant that. Great result by the boys, bring on the grand final next week.'

He said: ‘Upon watching the replay I actually think I meant that. Great result by the boys, bring on the grand final next week.’

The 19-year-old will be hoping to break into the Australian full side after playing for the junior  national sides

The 19-year-old will be hoping to break into the Australian full side after playing for the junior  national sides

He said: ‘Upon watching the replay I actually think I meant that. Great result by the boys, bring on the grand final next week.’

Jets coach Ernie Merrick said at the post-match press conference he had never seen a goal like it.

‘He’s told me he’s been practising it for the last two or three weeks and been working on it and it just came off for him.

McGree, who has represented Australia at youth level, is currently on loan at Newcastle from Belgian side Club Brugge

McGree, who has represented Australia at youth level, is currently on loan at Newcastle from Belgian side Club Brugge

The full time whistle sparked huge celebrations as Newcastle sealed their place in the Grand Final next weekend

The full time whistle sparked huge celebrations as Newcastle sealed their place in the Grand Final next weekend

‘It was a great ball from Ronnie Vargas.

‘I’ve never seen one quite like that and I don’t think the goalkeeper has either.’

The 19,000 strong crowd inside the stadium were stunned by McGree’s instinctive flick as his teammates piled on top of him in the celebrations – but Merrick was unmoved in the dugout.

Jets defender Daniel Georgievski said the team deserved their luck with the goal praising the team's persistence 

Jets defender Daniel Georgievski said the team deserved their luck with the goal praising the team’s persistence 

Jets defender Daniel Georgievski said the team deserved their luck with the goal.

‘It comes down to our persistence,’ he said.

The Jets have not featured in a Grand Final since winning the 2007-08 championship game against the Central Coast Mariners. 

Where does McGree’s magical goal rank among other skillful strikes?

Fluke or instinctive skill? It usually depends on which side you’re on. 

But there’s no denying the reactions and ability required to pull it off is impressive, dramatic and entertaining.

Where does McGree’s wonder strike rank against some of the other crazy scorpion kicks?

We look back at some of the top five best overhead kicks.

1) Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored this amazing goal at Old Trafford in the 2016-17 season

2) Frenchman Olivier Giroud struck for Arsenal against Crystal Palace with a New Year’s special

3) Birtalan Botond’s goal of the season in the Hungarian second division came in the match between Gyirmot and Bekescsaba that ended 2-2, scoring a scorpion kick from outside the box. 

4) Cristiano Ronaldo amazed the world once again with a stunner against Juventus earlier this month in the Champions League quarter final for Real Madrid.

He called the ‘best of his career’ but his coach, French legend Zinedine Zidane wasn’t completely impressed…

5)  No countdown of scorpion kicks would be complete without Rene Higuita’s save for Colombia against England at Wembley in 1995



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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