Courageous Jets score dramatic comeback victory

The Newcastle Jets have produced a spectacular comeback to defeat Chinese Super League counterparts Beijing Guoan 2-1 in their AFC Champions League Matchday 5 clash at Newcastle Stadium tonight.

The Newcastle Jets have produced a spectacular comeback to defeat Chinese Super League counterparts Beijing Guoan 2-1 in their AFC Champions League Matchday 5 clash at Newcastle Stadium tonight.

Behind 1-0 until the 88th minute, Newcastle scored twice in the final six minutes of play to secure the three crucial points which takes them to second in the Group E standings.

Sasho Petrovski and Sean Rooney netted for the home team, both scoring with bullet-like efforts, whilst Ryan Griffiths opened the scoring for the visitors early into the second half.

From the outset Newcastle looked the more threatening of the two sides.

With 18 minutes gone, Petrovski twisted and turned on the edge of the area before his curling right foot effort whisked past Lang Zheng-s left post.

Ten minutes later Petrovski was in the thick of the action again, this time threading a perfectly weighted ball through the heart of the Beijing defence. Young striker Jason Hoffman latched on to Petrovski-s pass, however his goal bound effort was well smothered by the advancing Zheng.

Whilst the first half was an entertaining if not thrilling affair the second was one which will live long in the memories of Newcastle Jets fans.

Indeed, the story looked like it was going to have a different ending when Beijing went ahead on 69 minutes. Speeding away from his markers, Griffiths finished expertly past Jets custodian Ben Kennedy, sending the small contingent of travelling fans scattered around the ground into raptures.

To their credit Newcastle kept advancing as they had done all night, Gary van Egmond bringing on young trio Brodie Mooy, Kaz Patafta and Shaun Rooney to help fire the Jets attack.

But it was the elder statesman of the side Petrovski who would claim the adulation of the home fans on 88 minutes. Connecting with a perfect Tarek Elrich cross, Petrovski struck a sweet, left footed half volley across the face of goal and into the left corner of Zheng-s net.

Whilst most in the stadium would have been content with a draw, four minutes of added time was enough for Newcastle to seek out a winner.

With their last foray of the game, Rooney showed why he is one of the most promising young strikers in the country, letting fly with a thunderous left-footed 20-yard strike into the top right corner of Zheng-s goal.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond was extremely pleased with the resilience his side showed and was naturally thrilled with the result.

“We-ve got pretty well a never die attitude and I didn-t think it was over,” he said.

“We needed someone to step up and take the game by the scruff of the neck and not just one, we need eleven leaders out there at any given time. So we had to ensure that we kept our discipline, which at some stages went out the window, but we had to throw caution to the air a little bit and take a bit of a gamble in certain areas and tonight it paid off.”

The coach also took the time praise the hero of the evening, Rooney, after his incredible strike.

“I-m really happy for him, he-s a really likeable kid. He-s come up to us (from Sydney) and he-s been working really hard and I-m very happy that he scored the goal, he-s an out-and-out goalscorer.”

Match Details:

Newcastle Jets: 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Tarek ELRICH, 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 8. Matt THOMPSON (23. Sean ROONEY 81-), 9. Sasho PETROVSKI, 10. Donny DE GROOT (28. Brodie MOOY 70-), 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE (24. Kaz PATAFTA 76-), 16. Jason HOFFMAN, 25. Adam GRIFFITHS

Unused substitutes: 30. Ben MCNAMARA (gk), 14. Angelo COSTANZO, 18. Peter HAYNES, 21. Joel WOOD

Yellow cards: Adam Griffiths 81-

Red cards: Nil

Beijing Guoan: 22. Yang ZHI (gk), 2. Lang ZHENG, 3. William MODIBO, 4. Zhou TING, 6. Sui DONGLIANG, 7. Wang CHANGQING (17. Wang KE 67-), 8. Yang PU, 11. Yan XIANGCHUANG, 23. Ryan GRIFFITHS, 28. Guo HUI (24. Yang YUN 68-), 36. Zhu YIFAN

Unused substitutes: 1. Zhang SIPENG (gk), 9. Du WENHEI, 14. Wang DONG, 27. Yu YANG, 35. Xue FEI

Yellow cards: Yang Pu 33-, Wang Changqing 38-

Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 2 (Petrovski 88-, Rooney 90+4-)
Beijing Guoan: 1 (R. Griffiths 69-)
Referee: Mohammed A M Hussein Abdulrahman
Crowd: 6106