A brace to winger Andrew Hoole and a clinical finish from second half substitute Devante Clut helped Newcastle Jets achieve a 3-2 win over Liaoning Whowin FC from the Chinese Super League on Saturday.
After a goalless first 45 in Huludao in China’s north, the game sprung to life in the second stanza when Clut - who only entered the game at the start of the second period - fired a sweet strike beyond Liaoning custodian Zhang Zhengqiang in the 47th minute to give Scott Miller’s side the lead.
Newcastle’s advantage didn’t last long though as Liaoning replied through Wang Liang just four minutes later. Liang’s volley took a deflection off Jets midfielder Wayne Brown before nestling in the back of the net.
But the Jets regained the advantage when young marksman Kristian Brymora did well to earn a penalty for the team, which was converted with aplomb by Hoole 66 minutes in.
Urged on by the partisan crowd Liaoning were keen to restore parity to the contest and did so in the 77th minute when the speedy Lei Yongchi burst forward and sent an angled finish beyond Jack Duncan.
But Newcastle weren’t to be denied in their first game in China since 2009, and it was the impressive Hoole who grabbed the winner. After cutting in from the left Hoole unleashed a powerful, low right foot effort that beat Zhang hands down.
Following the game Newcastle Jets Head Coach Miller told local media that in a sense it’s apt that the Club’s first win since it was taken over by Chinese businessman Martin Lee came in China.
“I think it’s significant with the new owner being Chinese that we have our first win in China,” Miller said.
“I think it’s a great start for everyone now and I think it will really help the team bond and our process here.”
“I have been very pleased up to date in terms of our [pre-season] performances but I think what you saw today was a different mentality with key players and individuals like Andrew Hoole taking the game and actually having a really good impact.”
“It’s exciting times for the Newcastle Jets - not only with new ownership but also the potential the group that this group has got.”
“There was a determination and a resilience in the team tonight and we spoke about it in the dressing room. If we’re going to be successful in the [Hyundai] A-League this season we’re going to have to be very resilient and determined in our efforts.”
Newcastle Jets will travel to Shenyang tomorrow afternoon before flying to Shenzhen on Monday. On Wednesday Miller’s squad will challenge Eastern SC from the Hong Kong Premier League at the Boa’an Stadium, before backing up 48 hours later against Kitchee SC from the same league at the same venue.
Liaoning Whowin FC 2 (Wang Liang 55’, Lei Yongchi 77’)
Newcastle Jets 3 (Devante Clut 47’, Andrew Hoole 66’ (pen), 88’)
Venue: Huludao City Stadium, Huludao, China
Referee: Ma Ning
Official Attendance: 19,019
Newcastle Jets FC: 2. Daniel Mullen, 3. Jason Hoffman, 6. Steven Ugarkovic, 7. Andrew Hoole, 9. Aleksandr Kokko (24. Kristian Brymora 20’ (34. Cameron Joice 88’), 10. Wayne Brown, 15. Andrew Nabbout (26. Ma Leilei (Trialist) 62’), 16. Nicholas Cowburn, 19. Morten Nordstrand (23. Devante Clut 46’), 20. Jack Duncan (Gk), 22. Lachlan Jackson
Substitutes not used: 1. Ben Kennedy (Gk), 25. Cody Carroll,
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil