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Guangzhou Evergrande 3-0 Henan: Back on track

Guangzhou head coach Lee Jang-Soo has been in the local papers this week apologizing to the fans and berating his players for show-boating rather than working as a team.

With this in mind, it came as a surprise to see Conca, Sun Xiang and, to a lesser extent, Gao Lin on the bench for Henan’s visit last night. However, perhaps a more plausible explanation could be the implementation of a squad rotation system to rest players and try new partnerships and formations: a dangerous ploy considering we’ve hardly produced many fireworks thus far.

If there was any team Guangzhou could have chosen to bounce back to winning ways then it would have had to have been Henan, who have had a dismal start to the season. Over the course of ninety minutes, Henan produced very little of note and appeared to just be making up the numbers. They look a definite bet (if you could officially bet in China) to be down around the relegation places come the end of the season.

Having said that, Guangzhou huffed and puffed for the first twenty minutes and looked anything but reigning champions. It was clear to see that recent results have knocked their confidence. There was a lot of lateral passing and very little forward thrust which seemed to transcend into the stands and a somewhat lethargic home support.

The game changed on 23 minutes when a flick through from Cleo to Wu Pingfeng saw the latter brought down in the penalty area. Cleo stepped up and when things aren’t going right you knew what was going to happen next. Cleo drilled the penalty chest height, slightly to the keeper’s left, which resulted in a fairly comfortable save. However, there was little respite for Henan as the balance and momentum of the game had changed. For the remainder of the game Guangzhou were camped in Henan territory playing a much improved probing, possession game complete with clever through balls. Muriqui opened the scoring on 31 minutes, latching onto a clever through ball from Wu Pingfeng and firing home.

The home support appeared to find some energy for the second half and roared on the constant Guangzhou pressure. Muruiqui was again on hand to finish off a Zheng Zhi rebound off the crossbar on seventy-seven minutes, while a clever backheel flick from my man-of-the-match Wu Pingfeng in the 86th minute provided the third.

All-in-all, a confidence boosting performance from a talent-packed Guangzhou side but lots more sterner tests lay ahead. The meager 32,000 that made it to the match went home happy, while approximately 150 fairly quiet away fans faced a sad trip back to Zhengzhou.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. JianyeFan

    28/03/2012 at 22:47

    I am one of the handful of foreigners (maybe the only one?) that should be considered a true fan of Henan Jianye. I attended almost every home game last season and I love the team. Some of my Chinese brothers say that Jianye is like a child that always makes you sad but you must continue to love anyways. And this season is no different … The Jianye fans will remain true even if they get relegated this year. You will see them come back in victory one year!

    • Guest

      29/03/2012 at 10:25

      As a Beijing fan, nothing would make me happier than to see Henan get relegated…Haha, your description of being a Henan fan is true of pretty much any team around the world.

      • JianyeFan

        05/04/2012 at 00:27

        You could probably talk a bit more trash to an “old school” rival if you were doing better yourselves. You don’t have a lot to stand on yet this season. My point about the child that makes you cry has to do with the fact that there was a fall from a former glory not too long ago, which is not common of every team in the world. Who knows maybe Beijing is next 🙂

  2. Yiddo Huayi

    05/04/2012 at 05:33

    Hengda played some VERY nice footy last night in the ACL against Kashiwa Royal. Just couldn’t get a goal despite having most of the possession and a good number of scoring chances.

    Gao Lin had a good game so maybe the rotation policy is a good thing.

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