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View from the North: CFA Cup – Meh…

guoan players celebrate a goal
guoan players celebrate a goal

boring, boring Guoan!

Guoan kicked off it’s CFA Cup experience at Gongti Wednesday night in what was a boring match from start to finish with few interesting points to discuss, nevertheless, I press on.

I was surprised by Pacheco’s approach in this one, I was expecting more of a complete overhaul of the lineup, but he only made a few minor changes heading into this match, resting Xu Yunlong and giving Yang Yun a run out and giving Yan Xiangchuang a look. Otherwise, this was pretty much the same side that’s won 3 straight.

Credit to Yang Zhi for extending his streak to 362 minutes without a goal, but really the credit has to go to Shanghai East Asia.  Their strategy was simple, keep 11 players behind the ball at all times, work the counter attack if you have a chance, but otherwise hope and pray Guoan doesn’t score and the match goes to penalties.

They almost got their wish. Guoan produced chance after chane, but more often than not, they were stifled by 3 defenders on one player or, more than once, by the linesman’s offsides flag.  The goal that made the difference finally came off a Martinez shot that Zhang Xizhe knocked past the keeper, 1-0 to Guoan, quickly ending any hope Shanghai had.

This was a bad performance from Guoan, but let’s chalk it up to playing down to the opposition.  Massive winds also played a factor in the match, any cross played in the air was completely unpredictable.  On top of that, of course, is the condition of the Gongti pitch, which Pacheco complained about after the match.

Man of the Match

 

fan going insane
The first non-player (and woman) I’ve given Man of the Match to. She gets it for going crazy and getting the crowd excited.

 

News & Notes

  • The woman above appeared to be the lone Shanghai fan who made the trip to Beijing, she was sitting in the lower 2nd stand and seemed to take offense at some Guoan fans chants, so she went off.  Rumors abound that she may be related to a East Asia player.
  • Dalian Shide was the only Chinese Super League side to go out to a China League team in this round, with Yanbian pulling off an impressive victory.  At the same time, Nanchang surprisingly crushed China League leading Dalian Aerbin 2-0.
  • Chinese Super League leading Guangzhou Evergrande crashed out to the “Northwestern wolves” on penalties yesterday, it took 11 shooters, but Shaanxi finally won it.
  • The 3rd round will take place May 25th, and then the quarterfinals will be in November.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused 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 blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

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