COMPOSED: Edgeworth’s Japanese import Keigo Moriyasu on the attack on Wednesday night against Liaoning at Jack McLaughlan Oval. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
EDGEWORTH coach Damian Zane was surprised with the lack of attacking threat from Chinese Super League club Liaoning Whowin but still proud of the defensive effort from his side in a 2-2 draw on Wednesday night.
For the second time in three nights, Liaoning, featuring Socceroos James Holland and Robbie Kruse and with a roster reportedly worth $67 million,could not topple their Northern NSW National Premier League rivals in trial matches.
Broadmeadow defeated Liaoning 2-1 on Monday night at Magic Park and the Eagles, the two-time defending NNSW NPL champions, looked more than capable of repeating the dose at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Edgeworth led through a Keigo Moriyasu goal but Liaoning led 2-1 at half-time after goals from Kruse and defender Lang Zheng before Daniel McBreen equalised with a 35-metre shot over the keeper.
The Eagles finished strongly against the lacklustreLiaoning but could not find the winner. Zane was impressed with his side’s attack, after they forced turnovers in midfield,and with their defence, which featured 17-year-old Kieran Hayes marking Kruse.
“I thought they lacked a few ideas to break us down, to be honest,” Zane said.
“I was a bit surprised, but in saying that, I’m not going to sell my boys short because they’ve done it before and defended wellagainst a side like Melbourne City [in the 2015 FFA Cup] and in the national [NPL] finals.”
Krusesaid Liaoning, who playSydney on February 19 then the Jets on February 22 before their season starts on March 3, showed the signs of a heavy workload.
“Pre-season is pre-season and it’s all about getting ready and fit for the first game of the season,” Kruse said.
“We’ve been training hard with a lot of double sessions and the weather has been quite hot too.It takes its toll, but we feel good and I think we’ll be OK for the first game of the competition.”
As for playing NPL opposition, he said: “It’s always good, they are always fired up and it’s verydifferent for the Chinese teams playing here, so it’s a good hit out.”
Edgeworth more than a match for Liaoning | photos, video TweetFacebook? Heard about @djmcbreen’s long-range leveller against Liaoning for @EdgeworthFC? Here it is thanks to @BarTVSports! ??? pic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训/MYQxtZr2sM
— NEWCASTLE JETS FC ✈️ (@NewcastleJetsFC) February 16, 2017