Rojas set to catch Europe's eye with super form
Joy ... Marco Rojas with Archie Thompson. Photo: Getty Images
MARCO ROJAS is in such good form he can probably land a ping-pong ball on a penny from the edge of the 18-yard box. Possibly with either foot.
The Melbourne Victory winger's extraordinary two goals to guide his side past the Newcastle Jets again highlighted the quality of the New Zealand 21-year-old - who could become his country's best player since the great Wynton Rufer.
Rojas produced two of the goals of the season in the 3-2 win at AAMI Park on Friday night - his second the match winner.
Europe will surely beckon Rojas at some point next year.
His nine goals this season suggest overseas clubs could come knocking as soon as the A-League transfer window opens next month.
Victory coach Ange Postecoglou said Rojas, who made a huge impression two seasons ago with the Wellington Phoenix before struggling in his debut year at the Victory, had also impressed with his work ethic.
And he said there was no telling how good Rojas could end up being.
''There is no end destination to a player like him,'' Postecoglou said.
''A lot of it will come down to his own development and decisions he makes henceforth.
''He's still got improvement in him. I think he can still get better. The beauty of him is he'll rock up to training looking to do that.''
Rojas's first goal was a classic - an unstoppable 20-metre strike that bent away at speed from goalkeeper Mark Birighitti.
But just a minute after Newcastle had equalised at 2-2 deep in the second half, Rojas controlled a ball which had rebounded towards him in the box, spun and volleyed home a head-spinning winner.
While Rojas produced the magic, makeshift centre-half Leigh Broxham and midfield string-puller Billy Celeski were outstanding for the Victory, who have climbed to third.
They are now looming ominously behind the competition top two - Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United - both of whom lost this week.
Newcastle Jets coach Gary Van Egmond believes his team must get better at defusing the bombs A-League rivals throw at them.
Having suffered five losses in their past seven matches, the Jets have slipped out of the top six for the first time this season.
Friday's loss was difficult to take for a Jets side who had fought their way back into the match after trailing 2-0 at half-time.
But 60 seconds after equalising through Emile Heskey, they conceded the freakish match winner to Rojas.
Van Egmond is confident his young squad can grow into a consistently competitive outfit this season.
But he said they were still to learn all the tricks needed to defuse opposition teams' attacking weaponry.
''The positioning, the organisation, there are areas that the young players have to get better in and recognise [the danger signs] before they actually occur,'' Van Egmond said.
''We just don't recognise the danger when we've got the ball.
''We have to think, when we're not involved in play, how we're going to defuse things … But we can't cram for the HSC in two days. It takes a bit of time for some of these younger ones to identify it.''