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View from the North: Hangzhou 0 – 0 Beijing

Your correspondent is on vacation fortunately stuck in one of America’s great, beautiful national parks.  While it means a great chance to enjoy the beauty and outdoors, it doesn’t exactly allow for following my beloved Beijingers. The hotel I’m at only has internet until 11 pm and only in the lobby (note to self: next time you make a midseason trip, book a hotel with better internet service) so I was unable to follow the match online.  Being in this national park, my mobile had no signal, so I was also unable to get updates via phone, therefore I didn’t find out the score until I woke up this morning.

Any other year 0-0 at Hangzhou would be a result we could walk away and feel happy about, especially after Hangzhou crushed us at home 3-1 for this year’s only loss.  However, going into the match 7 points behind the leaders (who cruised to an easy win), we really needed to walk away today with 3 points and we failed to do so.

It’s never a good thing when the highlights of the match are less than 2 minutes and today they clocked in at 1:40, a sign that this was most definitely a boring match.  From what I have heard, this was Guoan’s worst played matches of the season, and yet it still seems like they had plenty of chances and did a good job keeping Hangzhou from creating opportunities.

The lineup today interests me, why Senna over Piao Cheng unless the goal was shutting down Ramirez?  Still, why no Piao, he’s had a few decent showing and they could have used him in the attack.  Why not use your substitutions more effectively?  Is this still a result of manager Pacheco coaching from the stands?

I’ve said it before, going into this season, I would have been more than happy with 0-0 away at a strong team like Hangzhou, especially after they added Mao Jianqing during the transfer window.  That said, we’re currently chasing the seemingly unbeatable Guangzhou, the draw means we drop to 9 points back and means Guoan’s title hopes are shrinking by the day.  The Chinese Super League takes a break for a few weeks for international soccer before Guoan hosts Guangzhou on August 1st.  Anything other than a win for the Men in Green on that day, and I fear we could already be crowning Guangzhou the presumptive champions with over 10 games to play.

Any other year, Guoan’s unbeaten streak would be an impressive thing, but with Guangzhou unbeaten for the season, this isn’t any other year.

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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Yiddo Huayi

    15/07/2011 at 21:07

    Agree that it will be a hard task to reel in Guangzhou with anymore dropped points. But football is a funny old game innit?

    You could always do a Wenger and serve up some dodgy pasta to Guangzhou for the next few matches.

  2. Eric B

    16/07/2011 at 01:51

    It’s a crucial match, and crucial two points. If Guoan beat Hangzhou, managed to keep the 7 points difference, next game would still mean something.That means if Guoan can somehow find a way to get a win from Guangzhou, there’s still hope for them with a 4 points gap. However, the situation now almost means game over. Even Guoan wins next match, it still seems impossible to win two more games than Guangzhou in the rest of the season.

    My guess is that Jaime Pacheco tried to use this match as a test game before facing Guangzhou. Other than that I can’t think of any other explaination for a three centre-back formation. Would this work for defending Conca, Muriqui, Cleo? Hard to say. But the game in Hangzhou was indeed the most boring game Guoan played in this season.

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