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Lu Lin inspires Guangzhou R&F to cup victory over Chongqing FC

Guangzhou R&F 4 – 1 Chongqing FC
CFA Cup Round 3
Lu Lin ’48, 63′, Zhang Shuo ’77, Davi ’87; Zhai Zhaoyu ’81
Attendance: 1935

A fantastic individual performance from winger Lu Lin lifted Guangzhou R&F to a 4-1 win over their China League One opponents. All the goals came in the second half of an open, exciting contest at a wet Yuexiushan.

In contrast to the approach taken by recently sacked coach Sergio Farias last year, temporary boss Li Bing gave starts to several players on the fringe of the R&F squad. Chongqing FC recorded their first win of 2013 last weekend but could only name two subs for this cup match which left their bench looking very empty.

 

The atmosphere in the sparsely populated Yuexiushan was as damp as the atmosphere in the first half but R&F came close to breaking the deadlock on several occasions. Lu Lin hit the frame of the goal twice and landed a lob on the roof of the net whilst Zhang Yuan headed straight at Chongqing keeper Cui Kai. Lu Lin frequently found space for himself on the right wing and Tang Miao constantly provided support with overlapping runs whilst on the left wing Zhang Yuan showed flashes of both good and bad.

Chongqing didn’t let their CSL opponents have it all their own way though. They passed the ball well and created opportunities of their own; Zhu Xiaodong coming closest to scoring with a header from a corner.

The rain had stopped but the goal floodgates opened in the second half. First Feng Zhuoyi got away on the left and squared it for Lu Lin to provide the finish. The Cantonese winger should’ve doubled his tally two minutes later but couldn’t convert Zhang Yuan’s cross. He made amends just after the hour mark with a precise finish from the edge of the area after good work by Tang Miao and substitute Zhang Shuo. Zhang later got a goal of his own when Zhang Yuan cut in from the left and his shot squirmed under Cui Kai and deflected up off the bar for Zhang Shuo to head in.

With fifteen minutes left Chongqing were in danger of being on the wrong end of a rout but responded well. A training ground free kick move saw the ball passed to Zhai Zhaoyu instead of being crossed and the defender’s shot rocketed into the top corner to cut the deficit. This gave the two Chongqing fans something to shout about and provided the Guangzhou Evergrande fan masquerading as a Chongqing fan for the night with another excuse to abuse the R&F team.

The Cantonese side would have the last word and it looked as if it would be through their star Cantonese player, Lu Lin, after he was brought down in the area by Cui to win a penalty. However, much the crowd’s displeasure, the substitute Brazilian mifielder Davi denied Lu the chance to complete a well-deserved hat trick by taking the penalty himself. Davi scored but tellingly none of his teammates ran to celebrate with him and it was man of the match Lu’s name that the crowd were chanting. Lu did complete his hat-trick a minute later though not the one he wanted as he crashed a third shot off the post.

Chongqing FC did themselves proud and if they keep attacking as fluidly as they did in parts here they will surely climb the China League One table. Ultimately, they were undone by R&F’s players with CSL experience and more of these players will return to the starting line-up for Saturday afternoon’s match against Dalian Aerbin.

Donald began following Guangzhou R&F having moved to China in the same year that R&F moved to Guangzhou. The club's first foreign season ticket holder, Donald was able to watch three seasons at Yuexiushan before returning to the UK.

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