A late flurry wasn't enough for the Newcastle Jets, who have gone down 2-1 to Saudi Arabian side Al-Fayha FC in a friendly at the Pinatar Arena Football Centre on Thursday morning (AEST).
Al-Fayha made the quicker start and edged in front just six minutes in, although Ernie Merrick's troops controlled large periods of the first-half without taking their chances.
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Dimi Petratos went close with two attacking free kicks and was causing problems in the middle of the park.
Daniel Georgievski was enterprising on the edge of defence and Jason Hoffman was proving dangerous in the attacking third as he continued to build on his strong pre-season form.
Glen Moss made a spectacular diving save early in the second stanza to keep the Jets with arms reach of Al-Fayha, getting some assistance from the woodwork in the process.
His effort however, was to no avail as Al-Fayha doubled their lead shortly after.
Merrick then began ringing in the changes, as he looked to manage the workload of his key players for their upcoming FFA Cup fixture against Gold Coast Knights next Tuesday.
Ronny Vargas made an immediate impact on his arrival and would eventually lay on a goal for Lachlan Jackson at the set piece, with a pin-point cross which the central defender headed home convincingly.
While the Jets pushed for a late equaliser, they were unable to complete the fightback and will now switch their attention to their clash with Cartagena on Friday before their return home.
It wasn’t just the Jets’ first-team in action, with Labinot Haliti’s Emerging Jets squad beaten 5-2 by Shandong Luneng.
The locals got off to a flyer scoring in just the second minute of play and things got worse only minutes later when central defender Tommy Beecham cleared a cross with his head into his own net.
Shandong scored another before Kosta Petratos pulled one back with a stunning free-kick.
After Shandong scored a fourth, Petratos grabbed his second when he took on three defenders before cutting back inside and hitting a sweetly timed left foot shot from the top of the 18-yard-box to make it 4-2 at the break.
It was an even second-half with the hosts only adding a fifth in stoppage-time at the end of the match.