Dalian Aerbin 3 Beijing Guoan 1
CSL Round 27
• Seydou Keita 37, Peter Utaka 45, 74
• Wang Hongyou (OG) 86
Seydou Keita and Peter Utaka ran the show as Dalian Aerbin comfortably disposed of Beijing Guoan at the Jinzhou Stadium in the North East. Guoan provided little entertainment as Utaka supplied Keita for the first before two beautifully taken goals by the Nigerian forward grabbed the three points, Beijing had no response other than a late own goal by Wang Hongyou.
Aerbin started brightly with former Middlesborough man Fábio Rochemback rattling the woodwork in an opening half that was all Dalian’s. The home side were then forced into the early substitution of Jin Pengxiang on the half hour but seven minutes later former Barcelona man Keita was supplied beautifully by Utaka who after a nice one two slotted the ball through the defence for Keita to knock home between Zhou Ting and Beijing keeper Yang Zhi.
On half time a beautifully weighted cross dipped gloriously over the Guoan defence for Utaka to hit as good a first time volley as you will ever see to put Dalian 2-0 up at half time with Beijing offering very little in terms of entertainment.
Straight after the restart Aerbin again started brightly, an Utaka back-heel found Rochemback who took the ball round Yang Zhi, who was way out of Beijing’s goal, and crossed for Yu Dabao who nodded a header goalwards only to be blocked by Xu Liang. Some shoddy China refereeing then reared its ugly head again as Rochemback was yellow carded for a challenge on Wang Jun which caused Dalian’s protesting Serbian coach Aleksandar Stanojević to be sent to the stands.
On 73 minutes though, Utaka, Keita and Yu Dabao would then finish Guoan off. Showing a passion and drive that their northern counterparts lacked, the three outmuscled the entire Beijing defence to break free with Keita laying off Utaka who cut inside to shoot past two defenders and Yang Zhi, killing the game off at 3-0.
Guoan had little contribution to the game and are struggling to find consistency but the hero of the Henan game, Shao Jiayi who started on the bench, would cross past Dalian’s Australian international Daniel Mullen for his teammate Wang Hongyou to fire the ball into his own goal for a mere consolation.
2010 third division winners and last season’s China League One winners Dalian Aerbin were impressive to say the least and with only one loss in the last eight they look like a team who you wouldn’t bet against for at least an Asia Champions League spot next season. The connection of impressive foreigners for Aerbin will be a force to be reckoned with next season; the young Mullen at the back, experienced Rochemback in the midfield with new arrival Keita and the prolific Utaka up front with 12 in the last 10 games.
Beijing Guoan simply cannot keep playing so inconsistently, five loses, four wins and a draw from the last ten is not top of the table form. The danger now being the impending games against Guangzhou Evergrande and Jiangsu Sainty that could well see them surrender their ACL spot and end their season with bitter disappointment.