Match report: Villa qualify for last eight of Hong Kong Soccer Sevens
Villa will meet Leicester City in the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong International Soccer Sevens after two wins and a defeat on day one saw them finish second in Group D.
Daniel Johnson and Connor Taylor were the stars of the opening day with two goals each as Sean Verity's men beat Hong Kong FC 2-1 and HKFA Dragons 3-1.
But the boys in claret and blue were edged out 1-0 by Newcastle in the group decider.
It means Villa are set to meet Group B winners Leicester City in the last eight on Sunday [kick-off 11.50am Hong Kong/4.50am UK].
Johnson and Josh Barton got Villa off to a winning start against host team Hong Kong FC.
Northern Irish winger Barton despatched Courtney Cameron's neat cutback with a powerful half-volley to open Villa's account for the tournament after five minutes.
And Johnson made it two with a superb run inside from the left before delicately lifting the ball over the keeper from a tight angle.
Villa dominated possession and had further opportunities with Barton and Johnson both striking the woodwork.
Martin Rainer managed to beat Benjamin Siegrist from the edge of the box to make it 2-1 with the last kick of the match.
Verity's side made an explosive start to game two against HKFA Dragons.
Johnson and Connor Taylor combined brilliantly to give the team a three-goal advantage after just five minutes.
With two minutes on the clock, Taylor won possession on the left and reached Johnson with an in-field pass.
The Jamaican-born midfielder expertly controlled before slotting under the goalkeeper.
On four minutes, Taylor cut in from the left flank again and found the bottom corner with a low drive from the edge of the box.
Striker Taylor quickly doubled his tally with a close-range tap-in after a stunning run by Johnson from the half-way line.
The Dragons scored a consolation shortly after the restart when Fong Park Lun's long-range shot went through a crowd of players and found its way into the net.
Both Villa and Newcastle went into the final game with qualification already secured, although top spot in Group D was still up for grabs.
The claret and blues started brightly - Johnson forcing keeper Jak Alnwick to make a save while Courtney Cameron just missed the target with a curling effort.
But the Magpies should have taken a first-half lead when Ryan Maddison's shot hit the foot of the post.
Three minutes into the second-half, Jonathan Hooper found space in the Villa box to slot home the only goal of the contest.
Elsewhere in the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens, Celtic, Rangers, Sunderland, Yau Yee League Select and Chelsea qualified for the quarter-finals, but West Ham and holders Kitchee were eliminated.
VILLA SQUAD: Siegrist, Nelson-Addy, Caira, Cameron, Johnson, Barton, Taylor, Grealish, Lewis, Webb.
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