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View from the North: (Brief) Preview of Tonight’s FA Cup Match

Chinese FA Cup

Chinese FA CupWe’ve talked about the weirdness of the competition, but now its time to forget about that and focus on what matters most, the actual matches.  The Men in Green will face off against a club from Shanghai (9-1, 9-1! no, not that side) as a part of a full slate of FA Cup matches tonight.

Guoan always struggled to win the league, but they earned a reputation as “Kings of the Cup”, winning it 3 times (only Shandong has won more).  Considering the club’s current form, it seems that as long as they come out prepared to play, getting stung by the lower flight club is unlikely.

I cannot say much about tonight’s opponent, Shanghai East Asia,  as I’ve yet to see them play this season.  They are coming off a good 2-1 win against Guangzhou over the weekend and currently sit solidly in the pack of teams hoping to earn the 2nd promotion spot (as it appears Dalian has ran away with the 1st spot through only 8 games).  This Shanghai side doesn’t score a lot, but also doesn’t seem to give up many goals.  There is sure to be a big crowd at Gongti tonight and so these kids will probably have never experienced this kind of atmosphere, it should be a motivating factor for them.

It will be interesting to see how Pacheco treats this match.  It might be a good chance to rest some of the starters and give some playing time to guys we haven’t seen much of this season.  At the same time, too many changes and the squad may not be in tune, giving Shanghai an easier shot at an upset.  It’s always great to cheer against, and beat, a team from Shanghai, even if it isn’t Shenhua, so here’s hoping for a good start to Beijing’s cup run.

WEF is greatly honoured to have aboard B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese bloggersphere. Cheng has been the other lonely soul blogging in English about Chinese football over the last few years. With both Cheng and WEF’s editor linking back and forth to each others’ sites on a regular basis, it was probably inevitable that they would eventually join forces to try to illuminate and decipher the curious world of Chinese football, with their combined musings. Cheng’s credentials are second to none – his blog focuses not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese bloggersphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. Cheng very generously decided to climb aboard and give WEF his views on the issue of the Chinese footballing day.

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