A stoppage time deflected free kick gave a 10-man Beijing Guoan a shock 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar in their AFC Champions League Group Stage match at Gold Coast Stadium on Wednesday night.
Substitute Shao Jiayi’s set piece deflected off Andrija Kaluderovic’s attempted headed clearance and wrongfooted goalkeeper Michael Theo to snatch the three points in the opening match of Group G.
Roar interim Head coach Frans Thijssen said he was proud of the way the team stuck to its attacking style but admitted everyone was gutted by the upset loss.
“We were so much on top, one way traffic. A lot of half chances ... we were waiting for our goal and that happens in the end. It’s a real disappointment for the group,” he said.
Defender Jade North described the loss as “bitterly disappointing,” saying that the team was confident and made no apologies for pushing forward through the match.
“But if you don’t take your chances . . . Beijing one, Brisbane Roar zero,” he said.
Brisbane dominated possession throughout the opening stages and seemed on course to find an opener after Beijing had Erton Fejzullahu dismissed for a stomp on midfielder Adam Sarota in the 28th minute.
A flurry of chances followed for Roar with Kaluderovic and man of the match Thomas Broich both going close either side of a Sarota shot over the crossbar.
The half-time break allowed Beijing to rediscover their shape and the Chinese Super League side proved difficult to pierce.
Kaluderovic and Brandon Borrello both had half chances around the hour mark without Roar being troubled at the other end, as Luke DeVere impressed on returning to the scene of his last Brisbane Roar appearance.
Henrique’s second half entrance enlivened the crowd but the Brazilian was unable to break the deadlock with the match seemingly drifting to a goalless draw.
However, just moments after coming off the bench, former China international Jiayi fired in the fortuitous free kick to seize all three points for Beijing in the dying seconds.
Brisbane Roar 0
Beijing Guoan 1 (Shao JIAYI 90’+2)
AFC Champions League Group G Matchday 1
Wednesday, 25 February at Gold Coast Stadium, Robina
Referee: Ahmed Abu Bakar Said Al Kaf (Oman)
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEO (gk), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 4. Adam SAROTA (10. HENRIQUE 61’), 9. Andrija KALUDEROVIC, 13. Jade NORTH, 17. Matt McKAY (c), 18. Luke BRATTAN, 22. Thomas BROICH, 28. Brandon BORRELLO (23. Dimitri PETRATOS 77’), 33. Luke DEVERE
Substitutes not used: 5. Corey BROWN, 8. Steven LUSTICA, 15. James DONACHIE, 21. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 34. Shannon BRADY
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Beijing Guoan: 12. Hou SEN (gk), 4. Zhou TING, 6. Zhang XIAOBIN, 8. Piao CHENG (2. Li YUNQIU 82’), 10. Dejan DAMJANOVIC, 13. Xu YUNLONG (19. Yu DABAO 85’), 17. BATALLA (29. Shao JIAYI 90’+1), 18. Lang ZHENG, 21. Erton FEJZULLAHU, 28. Zhang CHENGDONG, 31. Zhao HEIJING
Substitutes not used: 3. Li LEI, 11. Song BOXUAN, 15. Shi XIAOTIAN (gk), 23. Chen ZHIZHAO
Yellow cards: 4. Zhou TING (41’), 6. Zhang XIAOBIN (74’)
Red cards: 21. Erton FEJZULLAHU (28’)