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View from the North: Chengdu 0 – 3 Beijing

martinez's scissors kick
martinez's scissors kick

Goal of the Year!

3-0, 3 times in a row, 9 points, 272 minutes without giving up a goal, 2 of the 3 wins coming on the road, what more needs to be said?  A lot actually.

Granted this post is coming a little late, thank Chinese Wantong for that, suddenly shutting off my internet without telling me.  Anyways, Guoan’s impressive win streak continued on the road Sunday with yet another big win, putting them at second in the table, 1 behind Guangzhou.

Chengdu’s known for hot, lazy days and that mood carried over onto the pitch on Sunday where the heat seemed to have lulled both sides into complacency over the weekend.  There wasn’t much excitement to speak of during the 1st half, with neither side really creating chances, though Guoan had the run of play.  Chengdu never really looked like they were going to score and only managed 5 shots on goal, making it an easy day for Yang Zhi.

The Men in Green came out strong in the 2nd half, minutes into it Joel Griffiths beat the offside trap and got the ball on the wing, he played it over to Wang Xiaolong in the middle who, despite being defended closely, was able to knock it past the keeper to put the capital side up 1-0.

After a period of lackadaisical play, Walter Martinez scored what has to be the early season candidate for goal of the year.  It was Griffiths again with the ball on the wing, this time he played a high cross to Martinez.  Standing alone in the box, Martinez decided to add a little flair with a bicycle (scissor) kick that seemed to shock the Chengdu keeper in his place.  A beautiful shot, not the best piece of goaltending (or defense), but nevertheless, a great goal by a player on his game right now.

The same combination of good shooting and horrible defending led to Guoan’s 3rd goal 10 minutes later.  Xu Liang was just outside the box, given enough space due to lazy defending, when he ripped a shot into the top corner. A good goal and nice icing on the cake.  Guoan kept pressing forward hoping for a fourth, but it didn’t  come, who cares though, 3 is enough and it gives nice symmetry to the current streak.

With all the talk of Guoan’s defensive woes it seems they’ve solved them pretty quickly, keep the ball in the offensive end and you won’t have to worry about defense.  Playing a team that doesn’t seem to want to shoot doesn’t hurt either.  I said from the start this should be an easy month, Guoan’s doing a good job making it so.  This post is coming late, but at least its coming, enjoy!

Man of the Match

martinez celebrates his goal

Walter Martinez (was there any doubt?)

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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