Beijing Baxy 2-1 Yanbian
Wang Cun ’47, Goian ’87; Ko ’20
China League One Round 1
Beijing Baxy took all three points from their opening match yesterday with a solid 2-1 victory over Yanbian FC. With Baxy hoping to stay up this year after being relegated (and then saved) last season, three points against Yanbian, a side likely to be at the bottom of the table, will help to assure their safety.
It wasn’t the best of starts for Baxy, as Yanbian dominated the early moments of the match. Both sides had gone through a lot of turnover, Baxy bringing in a number of new faces, while half of Yanbian’s side left after the club was forced to start the season -3 points due to previous match fixing. This year, Yanbian decided to return to its roots, with the entire side made up of Yanbian locals and all of their foreign players coming from South Korea. Their style of fast, flowing football saw them control the first half, coming close to scoring a few times before finally going one up thanks to a Ko Ki-Gu corner kick header in the 20th minute.
After going up Yanbian was focused on defending the lead at all costs, an unfortunate error as it allowed Baxy a chance to settle down and start attacking. Ryan Griffiths came close to scoring on a low cross, while Lu Jiang, who was by far the leader of Baxy’s attack, almost put them one up with a nice, one touch shot that just sailed over the crossbar.
While Yanbian were lucky to hold onto the lead going into the locker room at the half, it wouldn’t last long. A Lu pass found Griffiths who was fouled just outside the box, giving Baxy a good opportunity in the opening minutes of the second half and they would seize it. In the 47th minute, defender Wang Cun blasted the free kick into the top corner, equalizing fo Baxy.
Things would stay that way until the 87th minute, a scramble in the box saw Yanbian keeper Chi Wenyi make a massive save to keep things at one a piece, but he gave Baxy a corner kick. That was all they would need, Lucian Goian was left open and headed past the keeper to secure all three points for the Beijingers.
Baxy have a long way to go, but there were moments of brilliance, most commonly when Lu Jiang and Ryan Griffiths teamed up. They attracted a good crowd (by Baxy standards), with over 3,000 coming out to support them. Next week another big match as they face off against B.I.T in the “Beijing Derby”.