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ACL Matchday 2: Beijing Guoan 1 – 1 Brisbane Roar

Perhaps it was too much to ask for another win coming off the high that was Friday night’s match at Worker’s Stadium, but Guoan’s performance is sure to disappoint some who thought this was the best chance for three points out of all six group matches.  Another large crowd came out to support the home side, this time announced attendance was over 35,000 (while the official match summary had it at 41,000), either way it has to be close to a ACL group stage record crowd.

The match actually opened going in Beijing’s favor, with the Men in Green going on the attack and producing a number of chances, Piao Cheng knocked in a great pass from Zhou Ting.  The young Piao is once again finding his form from the start of last season, now scoring in three of four matches for Guoan.   It was a great start for the Beijingers and fans started getting excited about a potential big win.

Mao's angst...I feel his pain...

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out that way.  The Aussies seemed to wake up, perhaps tired from the long flight, and found their way back into the match.  They missed a few very easy chances before midfielder Mitch Nichols got on the end of a good cross and headed it past Hou Sen.  The Aussies continued to threaten with good crosses which Guoan seemed incapable of defending against, though fortunately the Aussies regularly knocked them well over the bar.

It wasn’t just the Roar who didn’t have their shooting boots on.  A good run and precipitous bounce saw Mao Jianqing go in one-on-0ne against the Roar keeper, unfortunately the opponent not being Shanghai, Mao couldn’t even muster a shot on net, instead sailing one well over the crossbar.

In the second half, Guoan took over the match once again, keeping hold of the ball and pushing forward, but while chances were few and far between for the Roar, the ones they had were more dangerous than what Guoan produced.  Guoan manager Jaime Pacheco continued his odd substitution policy, taking off Mao, who created a few decent chances, and bringing on Zhang Xizhe, as well as waiting for the 82nd minute to bring on Shao Jiayi.

Shao changed the mood of the match as the entire stadium gave out a large roar when the returning hero made his debut back in the capital.  Guoan was pushing forward, but the Aussies had hunkered down behind the ball.  Guoan couldn’t find a decent shooting lane and in the end the match ended in a draw, honestly a fair result considering how each side performed.

Pacheco was disappointed in the result, after the game saying, “In the second half we made some minor adjustments and we started to control the game and we got our performance back in order.   Our defense and attack were well connected and we tried to score, but we were unable to. Sometimes you need a bit of luck to score.”

It’s now going to be an uphill battle for the capital side to get out of the group stage, with only one point out of two games they’ll need to start winning and it’s not going to get any easier, with FC Tokyo next up to arrive in the capital on April 4th.

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.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Douglas Goldberg

    22/03/2012 at 02:44

    Looks like Piroozi Athletic from Iran had over 82,000 fans at their home game today vs. Al Shabab

    • bcheng

      22/03/2012 at 10:31

      I saw that, the support levels in Iran are insane and really impressive!

  2. Yiddo Huayi

    22/03/2012 at 07:55

    Roar have started to regain their swagger, especially with Broich coming back from injury. A shame Guo’an couldn’t get the winner. Good luck for the rest of the group matches.

  3. Cam

    27/03/2012 at 12:03

    That was a fun night at Gongti and fantastic away trip! And to take a point home as a souvenir from the northern capital. Thanks to the WEF team for their guidance and assistance, both on matters football and outside the arena! Huanying in Audaliya!

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