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View from the North: Nanchang 0 – 3 Beijing

Martinez shooting on net
Martinez shooting on net

Martinez just keeps performing

Away at Nanchang is the kind of game that’s easy to slip up with, playing an average (at best) side in front of a large home crowd, often times complacency sets in and especially when the game is close late, it’s easy for the home side to poach a goal and a point (or three).

There were nerves that this would be the case after Guoan came out and played a mediocre first half.  The sides went to the change room at the half with Guoan up by 1, despite having a ton of chances (including a sitter by Martinez set up by Piao Cheng and Roberto).  At the same time, Nanchang’s counter-attack wasn’t completely worthless.  Roberto, making his first start for the Men in Green, came up with the 1st half’s only goal, a fine effort, when a Zhang Xinxin cross found his head at the back post.  Any concern as to how Guoan would be without Griffiths in the lineup were quickly squashed, Roberto showed that he has the potential to be a quality Chinese Super League player, his height and skill are going to give manager Jamie Pacheco a bit of a happy dilemma as to who should start up top.

If you hear a sound, it’s me banging the drum for Walter Martinez as player of the month.  This wasn’t his best match, he had plenty of chances and couldn’t put many away, but in the 73rd minute, a ball fell to Zhou Ting who played a low pass across the front of the net that found Martinez in the middle.  This time he made sure to put it away, giving Guoan a 2-0 lead with 15 minutes left, pretty much securing them 3 tough road points.  Yet another added time effort goal, this time from Wang Changqing, who hustled down the pitch and got through two tough tackles to put the game on ice.

Another 3 points after another 3-0 win for the capital side, if they keep this up the fans are going to start expecting too much.  Pacheco’s done a great job where Hong Yuanshuo failed, putting together a solid side and managing it well.  He’s also been blessed with some truly talented new additions in Piao Cheng and Roberto, alongside some young players who are developing fast.  Guoan’s back in Beijing for a few days, but will be travelling this weekend, heading to Chengdu for what should be another 3 points.

There’s another story involved in this match, one off the pitch.  A small contingent of Guoan fans made the trip down to Nanchang, whose fans didn’t do much to welcome them.  This subject will be covered more later in the week, but suffice to say, once again, the issue of hooliganism in China has been brought to the fore.

Man of the Match

Roberto

Roberto (okay, it probably should be Martinez, but he deserves it for a goal in his 1st start)

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.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Eric B

    03/05/2011 at 01:39

    Second time in this week, match ended up with chaos off the pitch.
    A year past, there’s still no replay in Nanchang’s game. Unbelievable…

  2. Christopher Atkins

    04/05/2011 at 06:59

    Shame to see game marred by Hooliganism. Just one of a few problems for CSL to sort out.

    On a side note, a friend from Brazil has asked me how Obina in particular is getting on?Also Renato Cajá, Cléo and Paulão. Anything to say on these guys?

  3. bcheng

    05/05/2011 at 23:26

    Obina seems to be doing well at Shandong, but haven’t seen them play that much so don’t know. Renato’s mostly been on the bench as Cleo and the other foreigner (his name begins with an M, can’t think of it though) have got most of the playing time. Cleo’s scored a couple goals for Guangzhou, but not showing why he was worth all that money.

  4. Christopher Atkins

    06/05/2011 at 04:17

    Thank you for your response. Will pass the message on.

    • Eric B

      11/05/2011 at 03:17

      Obina scored some goals and have some good moments in Shandong. But fans are still not totally satisfied with him since he is the ‘most expensive foreign player’ Shandong ever had and he is just ‘good’ but not ‘great’ so far. Cleo is kind of in the same situation, but with Guangzhou still on top of the table and he is leading goalscorer right now, there is less controversy on him. Renato and Paulo haven’t get too many chances because of number of foreign players restriction.
      Guangzhou’s Muriqui is the best player in CSL this season. He has changed the game single-handed for Guangzhou many times.

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