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View From West Lake: Hangzhou Greentown 1:0 Beijing Guoan

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.

Trevor has always been a student of the game, thus becoming a teacher and ambassador for the sport was only natural. In 2010 he joined Sinobal Football Club in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, a grassroots football club founded in 1998. First starting as a player, then as a youth and first team assistant coach, now Trevor spends most of the time coordinating international projects with the club. These include school football co-op projects, China Grassroots Football Foundation in rural areas of China, Street Football, China Grassroots Football exhibition, and finding new opportunities/events to popularize, enhance, and project grassroots football in China. For WEF Trevor contributes primarily on happenings away from the CSL, where, arguably, Chinese football needs the most development. Although coverage on Hangzhou Greetown FC, a partner of Sinobal FC,is to be expected. If you are interested in contacting Trevor or finding out more about grassroots football in China contact

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