Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Newcastle Jets lose first up in Asian Champions League

Beijing Guoan beat Newcastle Jets 2-0 tonight in their Asian Champions League match at the 65,000 capacity Beijing Workers' Stadium, which was far from full.

Ironically, former Newcastle player Ryan Griffiths opened the scoring in the 7th minute after Wang C Q rounded Nikolai Torpor-Stanley on the right and cut the ball back from the byline.

Joel Griffiths is also in the Guoan side and almost scored a second goal for the Chinese club, but Ante Covic produced a brilliant save.

Adam Griffiths, the third of the Griffiths brothers, was in the Newcastle side.

Both sides were issued with two yellow cards in the opening half.

Sasa Petroski missed two good chances for Newcastle in the second half.

The second goal came in stoppage time at the end of the match through substitute Du Wen Hui, with his first touch of the ball, from Joel Griffiths's pass.

Newcastle dominated possession in the match but, showing a typical failing for Australian sides, were unable to score.

Newcastle were physical in their approach, committing 26 fouls compared to Guoan's 16.

As a matter of interest, Guoan played in a pale green strip, while Newcastle had a strange black-and-gold strip with a bright red right sleeve! Most unusual. Perhaps they should become the Newcastle Goldfinches.

Newcastle's Australian season had ended six weeks ago, which must have made this match a bit hard for them in terms of retaining their cutting edge, while Beijing Guoan's league season does not commence until 21 March.

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