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Hat trick for Zhang as Guoan destroys R&F

Beijing Guoan 6-0 Guangzhou R&F
Chinese Super League Matchday 24
Shao Jiayi 12′, Zhang Xizhe 37′ (pk), 56′, 85′, Utaka 69′, 90(+1)
Attendance: 33,968

It was a Beijing beat down for Sven and his Guangzhou R&F side, as Beijing Guoan put six on them, further solidifying the final Asian Champions League spot during a rare and beautiful Saturday afternoon match at Worker’s Stadium.

From the start, Guoan was on the attack, with multiple one touch chances falling to Peter Utaka, whose shots were just wide. This would be a trend that continued throughout the match, if Utaka would have been more on target, he would have likely had at least a hat trick and the result would have been all the more embarassing. Instead, it was Shao Jiayi who opened scoring, when he broke away from his defender and headed in a Zhang Xinxin cross.

Utaka’s speed was something R&F didn’t have answers for as the Guoan midfield was regularly able to find him wide open on runs through the Guangzhou defense. After beating his man on one such run, R&F defender Xu Bo was able to catch up with Utaka but knocked him down in the box. After having survived most of the first half only down by one, Xu’s shoulder barge meant he saw red and Zhang Xizhe converted the penalty to put Guoan up by two, it would be all green from then on.

The holes in the defense continued in the second half, a long Piao Cheng ball found Zhang wide open between the defense and he chipped the keeper for his second goal and Guoan’s third of the match. Zhang added one more late in the match from a bending free kick, the youngster is having a break out year, one behind Wu Lei for top Chinese scorer and having double digits in assists as well. There is no doubt Europe will be looking to sign him after this season.

Utaka, who struggled to find the target all match long, would manage two goals, though both on tap ins. The first came when Piao found Zhang again and he passed it off to the Nigerian, the second came off a rebound in the matches dying seconds.

Guangzhou will head back home licking their wounds after such a thorough defeat. Despite Sven getting R&F back on track, it was their third straight match without a win and sees them all but drop out of the Asian Champions League race. For Beijing, it was a memorable win and a declaration that Zhang Xizhe has arrived.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.



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