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Kashima Antlers dominate Newcastle Jet in ACL qualifying match

Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick says his side were not at their best, but the class of Kashima Antlers was undeniable in the Jets' 4-1 Asian Champions League qualifying loss in Japan.

The defending ACL champions, who are yet to start their J-League campaign, were fast and clinical at Kashima Soccer Stadium on Tuesday to easily book their spot in Group E.

Brazilian Serginho scored a second-half brace, including a penalty, to end any hopes of a Jets' comeback.

Newcastle were buoyed by a surprise...