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Shenhua 1:0 Guoan: Shanghai Put Beijing To The Sword In Feisty Derby Victory

Yes.

Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.

Yes.

In the final game of the season, Shanghai Shenua pulled out a last gasp win over bitter rivals Beijing Guaon, winning 1-0 thanks to substitute Jiang Kun’s strike in the dying seconds of injury time. The plaudits will go not only to the goal scorer but also Cao Yunding for an an eye-catching display in the middle, and both sets of fans, whose noise and passion made the game truly memorable.

It would be the zeal of the fans who made the first half of the game tolerable as both sides laboured in the rain, underlined by Dai Lin’s fifth minute free kick that was so high and wide that it almost hit the scoreboard. With chances at a premium, the game quickly became a battle for possession and the derby atmosphere ensured that no quarter would be asked nor given as crunching challenges flew in all over the pitch.  Walter Martinez in particular found himself on the receiving end of a couple of strong tackles from Shenua players.

The half’s only real chance would come in the forty-third minute as Wu Xi made his way into the area and his scuffed shot caused mayhem in the box, eventually rebounding into the path of the onrushing Eisner Loboa, whose own effort was frantically cleared off the line and away to safety by Guaon.

Jiang Kun celebrates his last-gasp winner (shenhua.online.sh)

The interval passed with the obligatory cat calling between the two sets of fans and both sides emerged looking to fashion more chances than they had done in the first half. Guaon began looking the more menacing and enjoyed the majority of the early possession, with Martinez and Joel Griffiths constantly lurking on the shoulder of the last Shenua defender, waiting for the final ball to be played ahead of them.

However, Shanghai continued to create the more decisive chances; midway through the second half, Yu Tao forced Yang Zhi into a vital near post save and Loboa sent the subsiquent corner into the side netting. Shanghai were begining to force the issue and in Cao Yunding, they had the player most likely to change things with his deft passing and direct running.

Indeed, it would fall to the young playmaker to make the difference when it counted. As the game slipped into injury time, and having seen Wang Changqing scuff his shot into the hands of Qiu Shengjiong a couple of minutes earlier, Cao calmly controlled a miscued freekick from halfway line, danced around a couple of Guaon tackles and found Yu on the edge of the Beijing penalty box. Looking up, the Shenua skipper’s cross drifted across the box, falling perfectly onto the boot of recent substitute Jiang Kun, who steered the ball past Yang and into the bottom left hand corner for the game’s only goal and an already vibrant Honkou stadium exploded into wild roars. Not only was this the last goal of Shenhua’s 2011 season, but it was the 700th league goal ever scored by Shenhua since the start of professional football in China in 1994, according to club TV channel PPTV.The game was Shenua’s and having finally undone a defence that had been led so majestically by centreback, Francois, the game was won at the death, and other than Wang having to rush from his line to block  the ball at the feet of Zhang Xizhe, there was little time for anything else. The full-time whistle blew and Shenua had given their fans the victory they wanted.

As the Shenua players and management trickled onto the pitch to salute the fans, who in turn chanted Dražen Besek’s name as he walked around the pitch, a torrid season was seemingly redeemed by a hard-fought performance against a talented opposition. It remains to be seen what will happen in 2012 Chinese Super League but for the next few months, Shenua fans can take solace in a new talisman in the form of Cao Yunding and a tenacious win to finish an exhausting season of extreme high and lows.

A passionate fan of the beautiful game, Andrew Crawford has lived a somewhat nomadic existance for the last few years that has involved stays in various corners of Africa, Asia and Europe. His most treasured footballing experiences are watching Hibernian beat Celtic 3-2 in front of a packed Easter Road during his university days and his time as the content writer for Nairobi City Stars, a Nairobi-based team based in the Kawangare slums who play in the Kenyan Premier League. A football polygamist, he always keeps an eye on the fortunes of the various teams who've stole his heart during his childhood and then subsequent manhood; Cambridge United, Ryman League's finest, Bury Town, Hibernian and Nairobi City Stars. Though recently arrived in Shanghai, he has already become addicted to the atmosphere at the Honkou and looks forward to watching his new team at every chance he gets. He is also runs and writes for sharkfinhoops.com, the only English-speaking website about the fortunes of the Shanghai Sharks basketball team. You should check that out as well.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    03/11/2011 at 09:26

    Well said.

  2. Guest

    03/11/2011 at 12:00

    totally agree.

  3. Charlie

    03/11/2011 at 18:00

    Brilliant result. Need to build the team around Cao – he is a star.

  4. ShiningPath

    03/11/2011 at 22:28

    Rain? Weekday afternoon start? No problem, we were there and we loved the way it all went down. Nothing like a latin-style post game celebration with flares. Now all I want to here is that the team will be back next year in Hongkou and I can buy my season ticket.

    • WEF Editor

      04/11/2011 at 01:13

      http://v.pptv.com/show/KTHxb9c9rev8d98.html who is this mysterious masked shenhua fan at 2.44 ?

      • ShiningPath

        04/11/2011 at 08:43

        ROTFLMAO, yes that’s me, gibbering away in my Halloween mask. Mind you, I’ve put in better performances over the years, at the World Cup in Lyon in 1998 I was interviewed by a Japanese TV channel, speaking in Japanese and ended with a quick bit of karaoke for them.

  5. Damian Jones

    03/11/2011 at 23:48

    There looks slightly more than 4,000 at the game. Did Guoan SB really bring many fans to Hongkou?

    • WEF Editor

      04/11/2011 at 01:15

      300 or so unemployed SB made it down….

      • Damian Jones

        04/11/2011 at 09:58

        That’s what I thought (the same numbers they usually take to Hongkou). Reading the report from the Northern one-eyed green monster on here it seemed as if the SUPERMEN of Beijing were swarming around Hongkou and filling an entire stand within (not a third of a block). He sure likes to live up to the reputation that Beijing fans have around China !
        Guoan SB !!

        • bcheng

          04/11/2011 at 11:32

          We were only given the Upper 9th stand (tier, whatever) and we filled it, there were 350+ away tickets purchased, a damn good showing for a midweek afternoon away match. Our reputation around China is for being the best supported club in the country. If you don’t know, now you know…

          • Damian Jones

            04/11/2011 at 23:17

            Well, you brought about 25-30 fans down to GZ .. while we took a few hundred up to you. Also, can you beat the record away crowd figure for this season? I believe that is the 8,000 GZ fans away at Shenzhen.

      • bcheng

        04/11/2011 at 11:27

        Unemployed? We are the fucking capital, we aren’t the Liverpool of China, if you’re looking for unemployed fans look to Changchun or Henan. We just love our club and are willing to take a day or two off of work to do so.

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Shanghai Shenhua

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Established: 1993

Ground: Hongkou Football Stadium, Hongkou District, Shanghai

Capacity: 35,000 (26,000 for football)

Honours: Chinese top-tier league champions: 1995

Chinese top-tier league runners-up: 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008

Chinese FA Cup winners: 1998

Chinese FA Cup runners up: 1995, 1997, 2015

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