Dalian Aerbin and Jiangsu Sainty played to a 1-1 draw this past Saturday afternoon at Jinzhou Stadium.
The mostly one sided match was the sight of many bizarre happenings, including a missed PK, a fan kicking a linesman, and one of the strangest goals you’ll ever see. The draw was a welcomed point for Jiangsu after dropping their last two matches, while Dalian must have been disappointed with the result after dominating much of the game.
Thirteen minutes into the match Jiangsu forward Sun Ke was fouled in the penalty box by Wang Hongyou. A high kick by Wang struck Sun right in the gut, forcing the referee to point to the penalty spot. League leading scorer Cristian Dănălache was selected to take the kick, but Dalian goal keeper Yu Ziqian guess right and blocked Dănălache’s shot with ease.
With momentum favoring the hosts Jiangsu caught a lucky break in the 38th minute when some miscommunication between Yu Ziqian and the head referee resulted in Dănălache’s eighth goal of the season. On the prior play Dănălache was toeing the line between onside and offside. Yu was able to come out and grab the ball ahead of Dănălache, but he thought the referee had awarded a free kick for an offsides call and proceeded to place the ball on the ground. Once Dănălache saw the ball just sitting out in the open he turned and kicked it into the empty net, leaving Yu dumbfounded.
The 1-0 score line was held until halftime, but after the break Dalian looked intent to level the game. Early in the second half the hosts poured on the pressure and created several great scoring opportunities but were unable to get anything on target.
In the 71st minute Dalian’s Peter Utaka was taken down in the box, but the ref waived on play. Personally I thought it would have been a soft PK it had been awarded, but I’ve seen worse. One minute later another Dalian player went down in the penalty box, but this time it was a clear PK and the right call was made. Jiangsu defender Eleílson fell down in the box, and while falling he rolled over and took out Dalian forward Yu Dabao as well. Chilean Gustavo Canales stepped up to the penalty spot and buried the ball in the corner of the goal, just out of the reach of Jiangsu keeper Deng Xiaofei.
Jiangsu was able to hold out for the final 20-minutes of play and earned a tough road point. In the dying minutes of the game a frustrated Dalian fan came out of the stands and ran up to one of the linesmen and kicked him in the back of the leg. The kick itself didn’t look very damaging, but Dalian players immediately shuffled the man off the pitch and back towards the stands. While fan violence is never acceptable, it’s fair to say he wasn’t the only frustrated person in the stadium. Dalian out possessed Jiangsu 60% to 40% and maintained a large advantage in shots as well, outshooting the visitors 19 to 9. Jiangsu was lucky to leave Dalian with the draw and will look to rebound next week when they host Qingdao.