Guangzhou R&F 4 – 1 Hangzhou Greentown
China Super League Round 17
Yakubu 7′, Rafael Coelho 45′ and 69′, Davi 54′ ; Chen Zhongliu 33′
Guangzhou R&F’s trio of fit foreigners scored all of the goals as the Cantonese side recorded their fifth home win in a row on a hot evening at Yuexiushan. The crucial five minutes came just before half-time as Hangzhou missed a golden chance and Coelho capitalised on his to restore R&F’s lead.
After appearing from the bench in the 4-1 CFA Cup loss to Jiangsu on Wednesday, Yakubu and Davi were restored to the R&F line-up, still without injured midfielders Jumar and Roystn Griffiths. Takeshi Okada’s Hangzhou played a 4-2-3-1 as they looked to repeat their 3-1 home win over the same opponents back in round two of the CSL.
That win was secured on very wet night against an R&F side managed by Sergio Farias but since the Brazilian’s departure R&F have improved significantly and this game was no exception. The Cantonese side started very brightly and were ahead after only seven minutes as Yakubu scored his first goal since June 1st. In a role reversal from the last couple of games it was Raphael Coelho who provided the assist for his strike partner and the Nigerian made no mistake from six yards out.
The first fifteen minutes were very good for Sven’s men and some trickery from Coelho created a chance for Davi but his shot was blocked. Hangzhou found their feet after this although when their Brazilian winger Mazola lost his in the box he was shown a yellow card for diving rather than being awarded the penalty he wanted. Hangzhou equalised after 33 minutes as R&F yet again conceded from a set piece. This time it was Chen Zongliu whose powerful header squeezed past Cheng Yuelei at the near post.
Hangzhou grew in confidence and should have taken the lead but Ivorian striker Davy Claude Angan wasted a golden chance to score after forty-two minutes. He would regret this as three minutes later R&F’s two Brazilians combined to retake the lead. Davi played a wonderful through ball to Coelho who had the strength to hold off Wang Lin, hurdle the keeper and just about keep his balance to prod in.
2-1 at half time almost turned into 3-1 immediately after the restart but Jiang Ning saw his volley come back off the post. The Yuexiushan faithful only had to wait til the 54th minutes for another goal though. As he tried to get into a shooting position just inside the box Yakubu was felled by Shi Ke and a penalty awarded. Davi converted his third penalty of the season to register his fourth goal in all competitions.
Hangzhou hadn’t given up though and almost got themselves back into the game when Angan’s pass and a clever dummy set Mazola free but he was denied first by Cheng Yuelei’s save and second by Tang Miao’s block from the rebound.
It was game over in the 69th minutes though as Zhang Yuan cut inside from the right-wing and fed Coelho whose low shot arrowed into the far corner. The Brazilian has really benefitted from playing under Sven Goran Erikson as he has scored six of his ten goals this season since the Swede arrived. He should have made it eleven after another lovely Davi pass but a great covering block by Fan Xiaodong denied Coelho his hat trick.
A 4-1 scoreline is a bit harsh on Hangzhou but the men from Zhejiang showed enough to not be worried by the visit of Tianjin in their next game. Eriksson will be delighted with the form of his foreign players although will be worried that in the six games since he took charge there have been no Chinese names on the R&F scoresheet. The next chance to change that will be when his team travel north to face high flying Shandong when the CSL resumes.