The fiercely contested JingJin derby ended in favor of Tianjin Teda despite Frederic Kanoute opening his league account for stuttering Beijing Guoan. Kanoute’s goal was sandwiched by a divine Sjoerd Ars volley and a gloriously worked goal from substitute Du Zhenyu.
Tianjin have tasted little derby success in recent years. In the last ten league outings, Beijing Guoan have triumphed five times and the other five have been draws, the last Tianjin victory being a home triumph, five years ago in June 2007 by a solitary 1-0 score line.
A slow and cautious first half showed little goal mouth action for either side with Tianjin’s Olympic Stadium’s pitch looking slightly poor due to recent bad weather. A decent run by Guoan’s Zhang Xizhe on 16 minutes forced a good block from Tianjin keeper Yang Qipeng who threw himself toward the rasping strike.
A testament to the recent influx of experienced forwards into the CSL, both sides opted for a sole striker in their formations and the difficulty of the lone front man showed in the first half with activity in the final third restricted by offside’s and a lack of support.
The second half was a different story, starting with electric pace from both sides that looked eager to impress as the managers opted for several changes in an attempt to re-ignite the game. Tianjin’s Alexandre Guimarães, the former manager of Panama and twice at his home nation of Costa Rica made the all important change bringing on eventual match winner Du Zhenyu just before the hour mark.
A superb run from Tianjin winger Mao Biao beat three Beijing defenders before an awful touch from Guoan’s number six, Xu Liang, teed the ball up for a spectacular volley from Dutchman Sjoerd Ars on 52 minutes. The former Zwolle striker who scored 28 goals just 2 years ago in the Dutch league showed true class in belting the ball past a helpless Yang Zhi, recently returning from injury.
Xu, who was having a terrible game, redeemed himself though on 78 minutes with a beautiful cross that Mali striker Kanoute deftly redirected past Yang Qipeng.
However, just a minute later it was time for substitute Du Zhenyu to race toward the Beijing box and have a neat little one two with Vladmir Jovancic before slotting through the legs of Yang Zhi. Du was a great midseason pickup for Teda, but it can’te help but be noted that the goal came from a run on the left side of the pitch, recently vacated when Pacheco subbed off Zhang Xinxin for Mao Jianqing.
Tianjin now sit tenth and in a week’s time Teda face a Guangzhou R&F side without a loss in the last three league games and ex-Blackburn Rovers striker, Yakubu, on fire with two goals in his first three starts firmly making himself a fan favorite. Beijing Guoan meanwhile has two tough home games in the next week, facing Guizhou Renhe in the cup and Dalian Shide next weekend. This win certainly gives Tianjin hope while Beijing look cautiously over their shoulder as mid-table is looking dangerously close.