Beijing Guoan 1-1 Brisbane Roar: Visitors hold on to claim first ACL point

The A-League champions hold on impressively to claim an important point in China, while Beijing will rue not taking their opportunities

Brisbane Roar have defended stoically to earn their first-ever AFC Champions League point in a 1-1 draw away to Beijing Guoan on Tuesday.

Beijing's Piao Cheng stormed forward to score at the near post of Roar goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos on eight minutes.

But a historic equaliser from Mitch Nichols 12 minutes later levelled the affair - the Roar's first goal in the competition - and Brisbane held on to claim a point to remain in touch with Group F leaders Tokyo and Ulsan (level on four points).

Ange Postecoglou made three changes to his starting XI for the clash, with midfielder Massimo Murdocca and defenders Shane Stefanutto and Mohamed Adnan returning.

It was end-to-end early in the contest, with both sides looking to overcome disappointing losses on the opening day of the league.

But it was the hosts at Workers' Stadium that struck first, as Piao - onside from a long ball - beat off slack defending from Bahraini Adnan to fire through a narrow gap at Theoklitos' near post.

Not bothered by their deficit, Brisbane began to look for an equaliser almost immediately, with Henrique combining with Nichols in a neat one-two exchange in the 13th minute, which saw the Brazilian sky a clear chance from close range.

Just two minutes later, it was deja vu, but this time around, Henrique was unmarked at the back post, only to send his effort skywards.

But the visiting fans were soon rewarded after those disappointing efforts, as Nichols completed fine build-up play between Erik Paartalu and Ivan Franjic to header home past Beijing goalkeeper Hou Sen.

Paartalu sent a through ball deep to defender Franjic, whose chipped cross right from the sideline held up enough for Nichols to rise up and head back across the face of goal to Hou's far post.

The two sides amazingly exchanged clear-cut chances to take the lead just prior to half-time, with neither able to convert.

Firstly, Beijing striker Mao Jianqing was one-on-one with Theoklitos, only for him to rush his shot rather than attempting to round the goalkeeper, and his effort went well above the Roar custodian's bar.

Brisbane immediately looked to make the hosts pay for their profligacy, but striker Besart Berisha could not guide a simple tap in home following a brilliant Henrique cross in behind the Guoan defence.

There were few chances on goal in the second half.  Beijing enjoyed plenty of the possession, but they could not break down a stern Brisbane defence.

Their best chance to do so came on 62 minutes, when a long ball forced Theoklitos well off his line, but Stefanutto was back to clear despite a Beijing player lurking with an open goal beckoning.

The Roar had few forays forward as they defended their point well, although the irrepressible Thomas Broich got a shot on target on 78 minutes from an acute angle, but his left-footed effort was well handled by goalkeeper Hou.