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.
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.