Melbourne’s Merrick: Beijing deserved the win

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick admitted Beijing Guoan deserved their 1-0 win in the Asian Champions League last night.

The Victory seemed to be outclassed by the reigning Chinese Super League champions who were led well by ex-Newcastle Jets striker Joel Griffiths in cold and frosty conditions although the visitors charged back into the contest late in the piece, presumably due to a higher level of fitness.

Victory have been up and about all season whilst Beijing have yet to commence because the Chinese league is still in hiatus but Merrick offered no excuses after the match, citing Griffiths as the difference.

“Beijing played good football today and they deserved the victory,” he said. “Our attacks were not very effective while Joel Griffiths proved the difference.”

The Victory’s next match is the A-League major semi-final second leg against Sydney FC on March 7 before hosting South Korea’s Seongnam Ilhwa two days later.

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