Jets still alive in ACL

The Newcastle Jets have moved into second spot in Group E of the Asian Champions League with a dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Beijing Guoan on Wednesday night at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have moved into second spot in Group E of the Asian Champions League with a dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Beijing Guoan on Wednesday night at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Last game's villain Sasho Petrovski became the hero when he worked hard to produce an equaliser in the 88th minute after Australian-born striker Ryan Griffiths had put Beijing ahead in the 69th minute.

But it was substitute striker Sean Rooney who grabbed the headlines when he snatched a last-gasp winner with a lovely left-footed strike in the final seconds of injury time to hand the Jets a heart-stopping victory and move them up to second in Group E with seven points, one ahead of Ulsan Hyundai with one round left to play before the next stage.

The first chance of the game came in the 18th minute when Petrovski was gifted the ball on the edge of the area. He turned around two players before hitting a crisp chip-shot that sailed inches wide of the right post.

The Jets pressed again moments later with Jobe Wheelhouse delivering a dangerous cross to Jason Hoffman at the back post but the Newcastle winger could only fire his header into the arms of Beijing goalkeeper Yang Zhi.

Beijing got its first scoring opportunity in the 27th minute with a swift attack on the counter. Midfielder Yan Xiang Chuang scooted away down the right flank and into the penalty area before unleashing a low stinging shot towards the back post that was well saved by Jets keeper Ben Kennedy.

The Jets created another golden opportunity a few moments later when Petrovski slid a sublime through ball for Hoffman, who galloped into the penalty area and managed to shrug off a heavy tackle from Guoan defender William Modibo only to have his shot smothered by an advancing Zhi.

Kennedy did well to snuff out another Beijing attack on the counter coming out of his area to boot away the ball just before Guoan striker Guo Hui had the chance to have a shot while Matt Thompson and Wheelhouse sent long-range efforts wide to see the score remain 0-0 at half-time.

Beijing came out more determined after the break and went close in the 50th minute when midfielder Wang Changqing fired narrowly wide when he got onto a good cross from Hui. Moments later Yan struck the side netting after he got the better of Jets defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley down the right wing as the visitors enjoyed their best period of play.

The home side wrestled back some control of the match and mounted some promising attacks of their own. Hoffman had his shot deflected by the keeper when he was again put into space by Petrovski, while Dutchman Donny De Groot sent a low shot wide from the edge of the area on the hour mark.

Beijing still looked threatening and broke the deadlock in the 69th minute when Griffiths took advantage of a lovely through ball from Wang to fire a shot from 10 yards out around Ljubo Milicevic and past Kennedy into the back of the net.

With less than 15 minutes remaining Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond brought on playmaker Kaz Patafta for Wheelhouse and young strikers Sean Rooney and Brodie Mooy for Thompson and De Groot respectively in a hope to stimulate some attack.

The home team's urgency was rewarded two minutes from full-time when Petrovski grabbed the equaliser with a smashing volley from a Tarek Elrich cross. It was Petrovski who created the opportunity with some determined work on the edge of the area before Elrich took it wide to deliver a pin-point cross to Petrovski, who slammed it in at the back post.

The Jets attacked with desperation in the final minutes and the pressure told when Milicevic sent a through ball through for Rooney, who produced a sparkling left-footed shot high into the corner of the net from 18 yards to deliver a well-earned victory for Newcastle.

The Jets now go to their final match in Korea against Ulsan Hyundai needing only a draw to advance to the next round, while Beijing is out of the competition.

Newcastle Jets 2 (Petrovski 88', Rooney 90')

Beijing Guoan 1 (Ryan Griffiths 69')

Crowd 6106 at EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle