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Shandong have upper hand after getting away goal in 1-1 draw

Shandong was able to score a crucial away goal, while Guizhou couldn’t capitalize on a late penalty kick as the two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg of the CFA Cup Semifinals.

A good crowd braved the midweek start and the rain in Guiyang last night. The fans’ flares and the rain mixed to create a lot of smoke, leaving clouds hovering over the pitch. It created an eery atmosphere, but Guizhou quickly got the fans standing again when they scored in the opening minute. Straight from the kickoff, Rafa Jorda found Ruben Suarez in space and Suarez went in all alone on the keeper and put the ball past him. Definitely the start Gao Hongbo was hoping for.

His side kept the pressure on the visitors, in the 14th minute a good ball from Yang Hao set Jorda free, but the keeper came out and did enough to prevent Guizhou from getting on the board again. Shandong came back with their own opportunity minutes later, though Du Wei’s header was just over the crossbar. Late in the first half, it was Shandong again, Wang Yongpo with a long shot that the keeper tipped over the bar. Then a corner kick where once again, the header was just wide of the target.

Shandong would find a goal in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Gilberto Macena went on a good run, and his shot from the wing was deflected by the keeper, though it fell right into the path of Wang Yongpo, who buried it for the equalizer.

With a crucial away goal helping them, Shandong did whatever they could to let the clock run out on the home side. Renhe picked up their attack in the final 15 minutes, setting up camp around the Shandong keeper. Qu Bo found Zlatan Muslimović with a tight pass, but the big man didn’t get a clean shot at it, however the ball fell to Jorda, whose shot was just wide. Muslimović won his side a penalty in the 82nd minute, but Qu Bo’s delivery was just outside the left post.

Shandong will have a slight advantage going into their second leg, to take place on September 26 in Jinan, as they have the away goal in their favor, but the tie is still wide open.

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.

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