Shanghai East Asia tasted defeat for the first time in eight games following their 3-0 away defeat to Chinese Super League outfit, Hangzhou Greentown. The visitors, currently top of China League One, have made little secret of where their priorities lie this season and this was confirmed by East Asia’s decision to field a second-string line up for the CFA Cup game.
Unsurprisingly, the home side looked to seize the advantage quickly and after eight minutes, Mazzola’s accurate pass from distance was firmly dispatched by Xie Pengfei to give the hosts their first goal of the evening.
Despite their poor start, the makeshift East Asia line-up kept on coming at Hangzhou in search of an equalizer, but of the two keepers, it was Sun Le, keeping watch of the visitors’ goal in the absence of Yun Junling, who was the more active custodian in a half that finished with Hangzhou failing to extend the one-nil score line.
However, after the restart, the increased pressure being brought by Hangzhou was palpable and it felt like it would be only a matter of time before the home side would double their lead against their guests.
Indeed, with fifty-nine minutes played, Greentown did just that, and having allowed East Asia to come forward in search of an equalizer, the hosts sprung forward on the counterattack and Feng Gang was on hand to crisply finish under the diving Sun and put the game out of sight.
The lead grew to three goals ten minutes later after Hangzhou scored once again, this time from Feng’s corner that was turned home by Wang Song- and that was pretty much it for the China League One club.
There was still time for East Asia to head narrowly wide but the game was over as a contest (some would say it was over as soon as the starting line-ups were announced) and the visitors were content to see out the game without losing further face.
Hangzhou can look forward to the next round of the CFA Cup whilst the China League One leaders can focus on promotion for the remainder of the season.