Rolando Aarons meets fans in Hong Kong

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor
At Hong Kong Football Club

Newcastle United Under-21s 2 (Gilliead, Aarons)
Hong Kong Football Club 0

Rolando Aarons lived up to his pre-tournament billing to give Newcastle a winning start to their Hong Kong Football Club Citibank Soccer Sevens campaign.

The Jamaican teenager had been tipped by Peter Beardsley to shine in the Far East but it looked like it might not be his day as he missed three great chances against the hosts.

But he showed his class in the second half as he first rounded goalkeeper Freddie Toomer to tee up Alex Gilliead, then got on the scoresheet himself to give the Magpies a deserved victory.

It put Beardsley's boys on top of Group A on goals scored after the Hong Kong Football Association's under-23 side beat Asian champions Guangzhou 1-0 in the other game.

However, it looked like they may be frustrated after a goalless first half. Aarons hit the side-netting after a surging run into the box, then cut the ball back for Gilliead whose low strike was expertly parried by Toomer.

In the second period, Aarons was crowded out six yards from goal after an incisive pass from substitute Greg Olley, then somehow stabbed wide from Jonathyn Quinn's cross.

But seconds later, the former Bristol City youngster jinked around Toomer and set up Gilliead to break the deadlock.

Then he raced clear to make it 2-0, and that's how it stayed as Olley was thwarted late on.

Newcastle United Under-21s: Jak Alnwick, Ryan McKinnon (sub Greg Olley), Macaulay Gillesphey, Callum Williams, Alex Gilliead, Rolando Aarons, Jonathyn Quinn

Subs not used: Daniel Barlaser, Adam Laidler

For unrivalled coverage of the Hong Kong Football Club Citibank Soccer Sevens, stay logged on to Meanwhile nufcTV will be bringing subscribers exclusive interviews and extended highlights from the tournament