In a battle between the newly promoted clubs, three goals in five second half minutes gave Dalian Aerbin only their third victory of the year. A bad-tempered first half saw David sent off for Guangzhou R&F and despite an immediate response to Aerbin’s opener, R&F were condemned to yet another away defeat.
Before the game had a chance to settle down into a pattern came a moment that would define what pattern the game eventually fell into. Running in the Aerbin half, R&F’s David appeared to be brought down from behind and tumbled into Jin Pengxiang who fell as well. With both players in a tangle on the floor Jin thrashed around to try and free his legs from under David and the Brazilian weakly kicked back out at Jin which was enough to earn him a straight red card.
Down to 10 men, R&F attacked in ones and twos but defended in numbers. Aerbin had more controlled build up play and striker Peter Utaka was a constant danger to the R&F defence; played through after half an hour by Yu Dabao only a good saved from Cheng Yuelei stopped him scoring.
The early sending off had given the game a bit of spice and three more R&F players were booked before the break. Annoyed at the referees inconsistencies, it seemed acceptable for Aerbin to be physical in defence but any attempt by R&F to do the same resulted in a free kick, R&F’s Zhang Yuan chased a punt down field which the Aerbin players though was a gesture of sportsmanship and the ball being returned to them. Zhang won the race and was fouled which prompted a melee and several officials to run onto the pitch.
The first half was a stop-start affair due to fouls and injuries and the early part of the second half was as well but this was due to a flurry of goals. After a breakaway led by captain Yu Dabao, Utaka squared the ball for Canales to poke in at the back post. Down on the scoreboard and in terms of men on the pitch, it would have been easy for R&F to capitulate given their away record but they replied instantly. Coelho ran at defender Zhao Hejing who backed off which allowed Coelho to enter the penalty area and fire a shot across the keeper to score in the far corner, his eight of the season.
This wasn’t the end of the scoring though as Aerbin’s Wan Hongyou restored their lead with a hammered daisy cutter of a shot from the edge of the area. Aerbin were not content with this and piled on the pressure forcing Cheng Yuelei in the R&F goal into a series of good saves, notably turning Yin Lu’s shot onto the post.
R&F could only muster a couple of long-range shots in response, a drive from Jumar stung the hands of Yu Ziqian in the Dalian goal, and when substitute Laing Yanfeng sent his header straight at Yu any hopes of a comeback were extinguished.
Now with only one away win in six attempts, R&F missed the opportunity to go top and instead it is Aerbin who move up the table to tenth. Both clubs will no doubt be looking to bring in fresh faces when the transfer window opens on Monday: Aerbin to move them away from the relegation zone and R&F to try to continue their excellent start to the season.