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Yak Attack Nicks Guangzhou Derby for R&F

Debutant Yakubu Aiyegbeni scored a late goal to win the Guangzhou derby for R&F last last night to cut Evergrande’s lead over Jiangsu at the top of the CSL to just four points. In a pulsating encounter both on the pitch and in the stands another CSL debutant, Lucas Barrios, had two gilt-edged chances for Evergrande but couldn’t capitalise.

R&F are still without centre back Xu Bo who was injured whilst on national duty and influential midfielder Jumar who is expected to be out until September due to an injury picked up in the CFA Cup. This meant there was no selection dilemma over which foreigners to play for R&F coach Sergio Farias, whilst Evergrande’s Lippi opted for Cleo, Conca and Paulão as his three non-Asian starters which meant Barrios was on the bench.

 

Evergrande dominated the opening period of the game with their players always managing to find space on the left, right or, most worryingly for R&F, straight through the middle. It only seemed a matter of time before they scored but some poor shooting kept the game even. R&F gradually came more into the contest and Yakubu pulled off a smart turn inside the box but his shot was saved by Yang Jun. The ball seemed to spend little time in midfield as both sides created chances and it was a surprise when half time arrived with the score nil-nil.

The atmosphere inside the Tianhe ground was amazing with a near capacity crowd and fans of both clubs chanting and waving their scarves. The noise and high tempo continued into the second half with Cleo almost scoring right after the break. He did get the ball in the net later after slipping away from his marker Li Zhe but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Formerly of German champions Borussia Dortmund, Lucas Barrios then came on to make his Evergrande debut and was greeted by a wall of noise from the home fans. He almost scored immediately but was foiled by a combination of the post and keeper Cheng Yuelei.

Li Zhe had a header saved from a corner and it was from an 85th minute corner that the only goal of the game would come. Fittingly for the Guangzhou derby, the cross was swung over by Cantonese substitute Lu Lin and met by Yakubu. The video is inconclusive about whether he used his arm, shoulder or head to get the ball over the line but the referee saw nothing wrong despite the violent protests of the whole Evergrande side and the home fans. There was a moment of stunned silence in the away end and then total ecstasy; I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Deep in injury time Barrios had another chance but was again denied and R&F left Tianhe with all three points and have now done the double of city rivals Evergrande after a 2-0 win at Yuexiushan in March. The result halts R&F’s losing streak and cuts Evergrande’s lead at the top to four points following Jiangsu’s win against Hangzhou.

Donald began following Guangzhou R&F having moved to China in the same year that R&F moved to Guangzhou. The club's first foreign season ticket holder, Donald was able to watch three seasons at Yuexiushan before returning to the UK.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Damian Jones

    16/07/2012 at 10:17

    A fairly balanced report, nice one.
    To be honest, I felt the whole occassion was a bit of a let down. The game throughout was quite poor and the atmosphere, I thought,was the worst of any of our home games. There was an air of friendliness in and around the ground and there was very little hostility to amp up the atmosphere (maybe that’s a good thing?). Before the game, the support area closest to you (block 13) had a childish spat between the support group members in the lower and upper halves, ending with the drummers/support leader in the upper half “going on strike” . Pathetic !!
    Evergrande (and Gao Lin especially) did little to inspire an atmosphere and without Muruiqui looked a very average outfit. Shenhua will be fancying their chances when they come to Tianhe in a few weeks. Back-to-back poor performances: Is the Lippi factor now taking effect?
    I can’t really begrudge Fuli their goal. I’ve watched the replay and can’t see any foul myself. Yakubu is exactly what Fuli need. Someone who is strong and can hold onto the ball. Well done on your victory. What was up with all your happy-clappers and shiney, lamenated signs? lol.

    • Donald

      16/07/2012 at 15:52

      That was the worst atmosphere this season? You should go to a Fuli home game and see what you have to say then; it looked like there were more fans there an hour before kick-off than Fuli ever get!

      The ‘happy clappers’ were the shiny laminated signs, a lot of poorly prepared people had left their scarves at home so we got handed these things instead/aswell.

      You’re right about the lack of hostility during the game, it helps that a lot of the chants were the same for both teams, eg “guangzhou dui” and “clap, clap, clap, guangzhou”. There was definitely post match hostility though, we had drinks thrown at us after the final whistle and a lot of abuse but the police/stewards did a really good job of getting us out of the ground and away from the jeering Evergrande fans. I’m going to post something about that later this week.

      • Damian Jones

        16/07/2012 at 17:57

        If i’d known there was going to be some post-match hostility I would have stayed a little longer and joined in !! lol, just kidding.
        I sulked off soon after the final whistle in total despair, although I did hear blocks 8 and 9 hurling their abuse 150 metres across the stadium at you lot (doubt you heard it though).

      • Yiddo Huayi

        17/07/2012 at 08:47

        How would you say “Pwopa nawty” in Cantonese?

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