Jets narrowly lose first Champions League encounter

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated by Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan 2-0 away from home in the first match of their maiden AFC Champions League 2009 campaign.

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated by Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan 2-0 away from home in the first match of their maiden AFC Champions League 2009 campaign.

A goal in each half saw the unlucky Jets outfit dominate the majority of the game, but ultimately come out on the wrong side of the ledger.

The Jets started their Matchday 1 encounter with a certain degree of trepidation. Indeed, they were to concede an early goal after a break down the left side of the Jets- defence lead to a pinpoint cross to the feet of Beijing newcomer Ryan Griffiths, who duly put the chance away from 10 yards out.

After conceding the goal, Beijing looked to extend their advantage as they pushed down the flanks, firing in numerous dangerous crosses.

However, the visitors nerves settled after the first half hour, and the Jets began to maintain possession with confidence. Despite a lack of clear cut chances, shots by Donny de Groot and Tarek Elrich along with clever link-up play by Italian maestro Fabio Vignaroli saw the Guoan defence scrambling for the final quarter hour of the half.

The second stanza continued on in similar fashion with Newcastle dominating the play and dictating the tempo.

In the 70th minute the Jets appeared to have leveled matters when striker Sasho Petrovski latched onto an early Adam D-Apuzzo cross, but his powerful diving header was superbly turned wide by Yang Zhi in the Beijing goal.

Five minutes from time and Petrovski had another fine opportunity when de Groot, after being played in by Ben Kantarovski, swung in an excellent cross, but Petrovski-s touch eluded him when he attempted to tap home the chance.

A heartbreaking second goal in injury time went against the run of play when the Jets lost possession deep inside their own half, and substitute Du Wenhui finished when one-on-one with Ante Covic.

After the game Head coach Gary van Egmond believed his side could have had a more positive result from his team-s performance.

“It was an interesting game, the first thirty minutes Beijing dominated the game, the number seven was playing very well and causing our team some problems. Then we started to come back into the game for the final part of the first half and in the second half again we dominated the game.”

“In the end we tried to push on to get something out of the game, a schoolboy error and we conceded a second goal, but we can take a lot of heart out of this game,” he said.

Match Details:
Beijing Guoan: 22. Yang ZHI (gk), 3. William MODIBO, 4. Zhou TING, 5. Darko MATIC, 7. Wang CHANQING (2. Lang ZHENG 90+2), 13. Zu YUNLONG (9. Du WENHUI 73-), 16. Huang BOWEN, 18. Lu JIANG, 23. Ryan GRIFFITHS, 28. Guo HUI, 29. Joel GRIFFITHS

Unused substitutes: 1. Zhang SIPENG (gk), 6. Sui DONGLIANG, 15. Tao WEI, 17. Wang KE, 20. Zhang XINXIN

Yellow cards: Matic 15-, Jiang 42-, Ting 68-

Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ante COVIC, 2. Tarek ELRICH, 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 8. Matt THOMPSON (23. Sean ROONEY 70-), 9. Sasho PETROVSKI, 10. Donny DE GROOT (28. Brodie MOOY 89-), 17. Fabio VIGNAROLI (24. Kaz PATAFTA 86-), 25. Adam GRIFFITHS

Unused substitutes: 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14. Angelo COSTANZO

Yellow cards: Vignaroli 20-, Milicevic 33-, Topor-Stanley 54-, Petrovski 88-

Red cards: Nil

Beijing Guoan: 2 (R. Griffiths 7-, Wenhui 90+3)
Newcastle Jets: 0
Referee: Mohsen BASMA (Syrian Arab Republic)