SUPERCUPNI: Tyrone defeat Chinese visitors Morning Star

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County Tyrone began their Supercup NI campaign with a fine victory over Chinese side Beijing Morning Star United at a sunny Ballymena Showgrounds.

Tyrone took of the lead inside four minutes as Andrew Scott got on the end of a Sean Graham cross to head the ball beyond the reach of Dong Wuyi in the Beijing Morning Star goal.

The Chinese side could have been level three minutes later as Hu Jiaqi was played in by a world class outside of the boot pass by Li Shihao and he hit the outside of the post, Tyrone keeper Adam Pollock made a fine save on 14 minutes to keep out a Wang Chao low shot.

Pollock was called into action once again on eighteen minutes as he made a good save from a Xu Xiangyu freekick the ball was sailing for the top corner before the keeper plucked the ball out of the sky.

Tyrone were then awarded a penalty on 20 minutes in a frantic start as John Scott was brought down by He Xi up stepped Jamie Burke to take responsibility from the spot but he dragged his effort wide of the target.

The local side came close again on 22 minutes as Niall McGinley rattled the crossbar with a freekick from 24 yards out.

Andrew Scott was impressing the crowd and he nearly had his second of the game as from thirty yards out he saw his stunning effort superbly tipped over by Wuyi to keep his side alive in the tie.

Beijing were then awarded a freekick from a promising position on the the half hour up stepped He Xi to fire the ball past the despairing dive of Pollock.

On the stroke of the break it was the side from the Chinese capital who were inches away from taking the lead as Lu Yaorong danced his way into the box before pulling the ball back to Wang Chao and he saw his effort cleared of the line by Matthew Glenndinning.

Tyrone had the opening chance of the second half as Thomas Mullan latched onto Andrew Scott’s cross but he fired his volley over the crossbar when he really should have hit the target.

Torigh Nicolas nearly made an instant impact of the bench for the county side 62 minutes into the second period as his wizardly saw him skip past Chen Lei before he fizzed his shot wide of the target.

Wuyi who was putting in a world class performance in the Beijing goal made a superb save to deny Mullan from point blank range after a teasing cross from McGinley.

Tyrone were in control but just lacked that crucial second goal they were a whisker away from that with 12 minutes to go when Nicolas got on the end of another Andrew Scott cross but his header was saved by Wuyi once again. However a minute later the Northern Irish side kitted out in all white went ahead through Tyler Anderson as he cut inside on his right foot to curl the ball into the bottom corner of the net to the sheer delight of the supporters.

McGinley could have added his name to the scoresheet as with two minutes to go he hit a curling freekick that crashed off the crossbar beating Wuyi all ends up.

The game was sealed in the final minute as the heavily involved Nicolas was played in by an Adam Young cross before he stabbed the ball low into the net.