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Wu Lei earns East Asia a point after swashbuckling comeback

Wu Lei finished his 2012 China League One season in style after he led his team back from a two-goal deficit against Guangdong Sunray Cave in Guangzhou on Sunday afternoon.

Coming into the game, East Asia probably didn’t think their hosts were going to be too formidable but instead, GSC raced into two goal lead- the first after Shi Liang fired home from close range and then on the stroke of halftime, Mahama Awal headed home a routine opportunity.

With a largely second string starting XI on the pitch, East Asia looked in trouble against a confident home side who were making the most of the poor communication between the visiting players. However, Wu, who had already scored fifteen goals this season, wasn’t going to let the team go down without a fight and quickly set about galvanizing his teammates in the remaining forty-five minutes of the game.

Indeed, the second half was barely ten minutes old when the East Asia playmaker got his first goal of the afternoon after he snuck in and headed home a chance from close range.

As both teams began to show fatigue after a long and exhausting season, there were chances at both ends as legs began to wilt and minds began to drift towards the offseason.

Having seen chances spurned and passes misplaced, Wu then decided to take matters into this own hands and with twenty minutes left to play, cut inside from the right whereupon his sudden turn of pace allowed him to get inside the box before he cooly finished past Hou Yu.

It was a great goal from a player who has defined East Asia’s season and so it was fitting that he had a part in the last significant moment of the visitor’s season. Both teams seemed content to settle for a draw following the midfielder’s goal and having started the season away in Guangdong, East Asia finished their 2012 CL1 campaign there as well- albeit with the knowledge that the next time they come to Guangzhou, it will be to face teams such as newly re-crowned Evergrande. What a difference a year makes…

In other CL1 results, Shenzhen Ruby beat Hunan Xiangtao 3-0 as Babacar Gueye scored a brace and finished as the league’s top scorer. Elsewhere, there were violent clashes between fans and police as Chongqing FC thrashed Chengdu Blades 4-0 whilst in BIT’s 2-0 win over Tianjin Songjiang, Matias Alonso sparked a twenty-man skirmish after taking exception to a foul on Lu Bin. A notable last day in the league was completed by Fujian Smart Hero’s 1-0 victory over Wuhan Zall to lift the former into 3rd place.

A passionate fan of the beautiful game, Andrew Crawford has lived a somewhat nomadic existance for the last few years that has involved stays in various corners of Africa, Asia and Europe. His most treasured footballing experiences are watching Hibernian beat Celtic 3-2 in front of a packed Easter Road during his university days and his time as the content writer for Nairobi City Stars, a Nairobi-based team based in the Kawangare slums who play in the Kenyan Premier League. A football polygamist, he always keeps an eye on the fortunes of the various teams who've stole his heart during his childhood and then subsequent manhood; Cambridge United, Ryman League's finest, Bury Town, Hibernian and Nairobi City Stars. Though recently arrived in Shanghai, he has already become addicted to the atmosphere at the Honkou and looks forward to watching his new team at every chance he gets. He is also runs and writes for sharkfinhoops.com, the only English-speaking website about the fortunes of the Shanghai Sharks basketball team. You should check that out as well.

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