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Evergrande’s lead grows as they cruise to victory in Changchun

With Jiangsu struggling to earn a draw, Guangzhou Evergrande just kept cruising, earning a 2-1 victory against Changchun Yatai. Despite Changchun being the first team to beat Evergrande last season, they couldn’t match that feat this year, perhaps because they weren’t assisted by the elements like last season.

The first half was far from stimulating football, an even affair with neither team able to produce much in the way of scoring opportunities but Guangzhou creating a lot of pressure. The best chances for either side came at the bookends of the half. For Guangzhou, crafty passing led to Cleo finding himself in space, but the Changchun keeper made a nice save. Just before the end of the half, a Changchun chance hit the post, a close call they would surely come to regret.

Guangzhou came out of the locker room going after the win and they’d get on the board very quickly, a good cross into the box saw Cleo leave the ball for Dario Conca, whose well placed shot beat the keeper. Already up by one, Guangzhou didn’t let up, continuing to pressure Changchun’s defense. It would pay off when Cleo would score one of his own in the 69th minute, with an excellent shot from distance.

Despite the home side’s struggles, youngster Zhang Wenzhao was able to pull one back with a great run in the 88th minute. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough to repeat last year’s home upset of the league leaders as Evergrande secured all three points and increased their lead to five.

However, things aren’t all good down south,as Lucas Barrios, who was kept off the pitch for the second match in a row, has voiced a desire to cut short his time in Guangzhou and return to Europe at the end of this season. With Conca having already put in a transfer request with the club, manager Marcello Lippi may have a hard time keeping everyone happy, though with the team battling on three fronts, there should be plenty of time to go around.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. GZBiffo

    22/08/2012 at 16:43

    Cheers for the report! A *little* disappointed that Jiangsu have slipped back so quickly; after last year’s somewhat tedious procession to the title, was hoping for a bit more end-of-season excitement this time around. Not that it’s over yet of course, but Jiangsu have not been looking like very credible challengers of late.

    And it seems like a lot of this summer’s big name foreign arrivals are looking already like they want to be absolutely anywhere else. It’s almost enough to make you suspect that they didn’t do a whole lot of research before making the decision to move here, that they may even have signed the proffered contracts while their jaws were still on the table.

    Anyway, on to tonight’s semi-final and hopefully a performance and result that will make the return leg in Shenyang in a month’s time a formality. I’d love to know though how this idea emerged in Asia that it’s perfectly normal for cup competitions to switch between having one and two legs depending on the round. I mean, a home and an away leg ONLY in the semi? And in the ACL, ONLY the round of 16 having just one leg? Bizarre.

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