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Beijing Guoan

View form the North: Shandong 1 – 1 Beijing

zhou ting celebrates his goal

Beijing Guoan traveled to Jinan last night and, in the rain, could only manage to walk away with a single point, handing the league title to Guangzhou in what was already a foregone conclusion. Two of the main reasons Guangzhou is celebrating this year’s title are Guoan’s inability to come from behind (they’ve yet to do that this season) and their inability to score late (unlike Guangzhou who’ve been masters at that). In the end, last night’s result will probably be enough for Guoan to keep hold of an Asian Champions League position, which is all they can hope for at this point.

The Men in Green looked like the better side all night long and did a good job shutting down the Shandong attack. However, it was Shandong who struck first, a corner kick provided the goal. Lu Zheng was on the front post and headed the ball toward the corner, Yang Zhi got a hand on it, but Wang Yongpo was alone at the back post and tapped it in. Wang, fat ass and all, is looking more and more like the crazy uncle who sits around talking about the “good old days” and is too fat to get up on his own, and yet still managed to score.

With the minutes ticking down in the first half, it looked like the visitors would go into the locker room down by one, to a goal scored against the pace of play. That’s when ageless wonder Zhou Ting stepped up and earned the equalizer just minutes before the end of the half. A Wang Xiaolong cross looked innocent enough as it floated into empty space, but a hustling Zhou slid and got a foot on it, knocking it past the keeper for a beautiful goal.

zhou ting celebrates his goal

"Grandpa" Zhou celebrates his equalizer

While the second half was almost all Beijing, the visitors never came too close to scoring. As has been the case during the last few months, the defense shut down the opponent, the attacking buildups looked good, but once they got into the final third of the field, Guoan looked out of sorts, missed passes, wild shots, and an all around ineptitude.

Guangzhou was always going to win the title, and this road point was much needed, the capital side now sit on an 8 point lead with 4 games to play, a Champions League spot is all but assured. It was a fairly physical affair last night, a nice side dish before the main course, when these two teams meet in the CFA Cup Semifinal in three more weeks.

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. Eric B

    30/09/2011 at 17:08

    Just like the home game against Shandong earlier this year, Guoan was the much better side on Wednesday (damn, that’s a hard word to spell) night. However, just like that game, Guoan can only manage to get a draw.

    With Jaime Pacheco’s magic, Guoan can play pretty good possession football now. But when you have a large percentage of ball possession, it doesn’t always mean you can create lots of chances. If you want to penetrate opponent’s defence line, you need to have players who can send accurate through-pass, and players who can dribble their way out. Even if you can create enough chances, it doesn’t always mean you can score. That’s right, you MUST have a striker, a real killer.

    Keita create some good chances. Although he has good technical and physical ability, his poor football-intelligence shows why he can’t make it in top class Primeira Liga team.

    It looks like Piao Cheng is still struggling to make a breakthrough. His wonderful touch of ball, his calmness make him such a great youngster, a future star. But he is still learning how to read match, how to decide when to pass the ball. He better learn quicker, otherwise Pacheco may consider bringing in a foreign playmaker.

    It would be so nice if there’s a way to mix Piao Cheng and Zhang xizhe (the result would be a five-years-younger version of Tao Wei). Both of them are good, but one can’t run or pass and the other one can’t dribble or control. I guess that’s the problem with Chinese football today.

    • bcheng

      30/09/2011 at 18:49

      As always, good points all around. Guoan is great at possession, but its the final third that’s killing them, they do miss somebody who can just put his head down and dribble through the defense. They’ve yet to find a way to cut open another side, lobs over the top just aren’t doing it at all.

      I’ll wait and see on Keita, will be interesting if they decide to keep Griffiths or not. I’d like to think Pacheco and work on Keita, he definitely has the physical gifts, but we’ll see.

      Piao and Zhang are just so frustrating. Zhang can’t hit the damn net, or else he’d have scored a number of goals already, they are both pretty good at getting around people, but they’re just too young. It’s an excuse that will work for another season or two. Again, it’s incredibly frustrating to watch at times, but there’s nothing left to play for (other than the FA Cup), so I can put up with it, but next year will be different, hopefully…

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