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Beijing Guoan survive Brazilian barrage in Shanghai

A combination of Xu Liang’s luck and Wang Xiaolong’s brilliance gave Beijing Guoan their first away victory in three months against an onslaught of Brazilian flair at Shanghai Shenxin. Guoan manager Jaime Pacheco was forced to take some risks  as Freddie Kanoute and Shao Jiayi were both suffering from injuries and left in Beijing, but in the end his moves paid off.

Second from bottom Shanghai Shenxin were on a little roll leading into this game against a Beijing side that have just plain struggled to get going of late. In Shanghai, nearly a month has passed since a miraculous 1-0 victory over German side Wolfsburg, Shenxin only have one loss in the last eight, hardly the form of a team in their position. Guoan on the other hand are in a slump, winning only two of their last eight leading to talk of the end for Jaime Pacheco.

A change in form needs luck and what Guoan fans will call luck, Shenxin fans will call disgraceful. A poor ball into the box gave Liu Dianzuo in the Shenxin sticks and easy chance to collect and a similarly easy opportunity to boot the ball away from a box still quite surrounded by a Beijing attack. Liu decided against this, slowly rolling the ball to Wang Jiayu who wasn’t reading the same book and allowed Xu Liang to skip in between two defenders and hit a lame shot which Liu haplessly fumbled and watched roll into his goal.

After just over the half hour mark, Shenxin were in the ascendency, peppering the Beijing goal looking for an equalizer. One came after a Antônio Flávio corner curled in nicely for Zou Zhongting to sit a sweet first touch volley that didn’t stop on its way past Yang Zhi, Zhongting’s first goal in the last two years for Shenxin.

1-1 at half time but it nearly wasn’t, another Brazilian Jaílton Paraíba burst onto a Wang Yun ball behind the Beijing back four who tried the off-side trap in vain, Paraíba blasting at Yang Zhi who this time was there to make sure honors were even at the break despite yet another Brazilian attempt, the ball landing nicely for Flávio who hammered against the woodwork. As the half time whistle blew, Shenxin had 8 shots on goal to Guoan’s 2.

Wang Xiaolong’s last goal for Beijing came from the penalty spot in Shanghai against Shenhua, on his return to the same city, Xiaolong jetted past three Shenxin defenders and from the acutest of angles nailed the ball across the face of Liu and burst the back of the net.

The Brazil-show would leave it late to give Beijing their final scare, substitute Anselmo with a beautifully executed scissor kick forcing the best out of Yang Zhi as he acrobatically dived to his left to prevent a late equalizer for the Shanghai side.

A change in luck was needed indeed. Shenxin had 60%  and 18 shots to Beijing’s 6, but despite this, Guoan move onto a home game against Henan in two weeks hoping for a little more luck in their form. The win keeps them in the hunt for the final Asian spot and will probably be enough to guarantee Pacheco remains in charge through the end of the season. Shenxin have a tough few games coming up against Changchun, Guangzhou R&F and Shenhua in their battle against relegation.

Pete is from Sheffield, England and came to China in 2008 initially living in Shenyang where he witnessed his first CSL game, Liaoning Whowin v Chengdu Blades. Pete is a fanatic Sheffield Wednesday fan but has picked up football allegiances from various trips, Galatasary in Turkey, Piacenza in Italy and Muangthong United in Thailand. In early 2009 he moved to Beijing and after a brief time started attending Guoan games regularly. Pete graduated in Journalism in the UK and has written for several educational publications on Chinese education for his day job as well as Chinese football for WEF which he wishes was more developed but avidly follows the Imperial Guards on their quest for CSL supremacy regardless.

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