Originally I was unsure if I would post something about this match, but after B_chemers review, there was no choice in the matter.
Yes, Guoan dominated possession of the ball, yes a majority of play occured in Hangzhou’s defensive third, and yes there was an arguable goal and penalty not called on Guoan’s behalf. However, to the defense of Hangzhou Greentown and referee, and from a perspective of someone at the match, I will report the following.
For Hangzhou, coming off last week’s thumping 3-0 loss away to Jiansu Sainty Okada’s message was clear, “do not concede cheaply.” Added to the absence of center back captain Duwei, the home team retreated unusually deep into their own half, often with 11 players behind the ball. The “hockey defense” of blocking shots paid off, thwarting a noteworthy performance by Piao Cheng. Despite lack of possession Hangzhou created several chances on corners, and lead several threatening counter attacks through a quick and crafty Fabrizio, that, when coupled with Bali Mamatil’s addition in the second half, looked keen for a match winner.
The unexpected hero Wang Song scored the winner, when after an awkward exchange of possessions, was left completely unmarked in front of goal. Thereafter, during the second half possession was discarded far too easily by both teams, leading to frustration and a series of reckless challenges, invariably exposing the referee as culprit. By the last 10 minutes angry fans were whistling in disapproval ‘hei shao‘ (black whistle) towards the referees’ performance. For a official in such a heated environment, calling a penalty on a cross with 2 minutes remaining would be like putting a target on your head. While you can chalk up the uncalled goal to simply ~ adding more fuel to the ‘Video Technology’ fire.
With all said and done, it was a match that could have gone either way. Hangzhou will take whatever luck they can get being the last team in the Chinese Super League to score this year, while Beijing will blame unfortunate circumstances, but should only blame poor finishing for 1 point instead of 0. Still, over the course of the season both teams will need more consistent performances from key players to achieve desired success come November.