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Chinese Super League

Round 29 – Analyzing the races

With only two matches left, the races at the bottom of the table in the Chinese Super League and China League are getting more exciting than the ones at the top. Four sides are fighting to stay up in the CSL, while six different sides are playing musical chairs, trying to avoid the bottom two spots when the music stops. While attention is on tomorrow night’s ACL Final first leg, there’s plenty of reason to watch the CSL race for the final ACL spot when the penultimate round begins on Wednesday, however with Guizhou’s CFA Cup victory, the race seems even less important.


12 Jiangsu Sainty – 31 points
13 Hangzhou Greentown – 31 points
14 Changchun Yatai – 29 points
15 Qingdao Jonoon – 28 points
16 Wuhan Zall – 16 points

Here are the remaining matches:
Jiangsu – @ Qingdao, vs. East Asia
Last 5 matches – LLWDD
Hangzhou – vs. Guizhou, @ Dalian
Last 5 matches – LDLDD
Qingdao – vs. Jiangsu, @ Beijing
Last 5 matches – LLLWL
Changchun – @ Shenhua, vs. Liaoning
Last 5 matches – LWWLW

Another team was able to take three points from Tianjin last weekend and with both Jiangsu and Hangzhou drawing, Qingdao fell into the relegation hole (for the time being). Their match against Jiangsu on Wednesday will be “for all the marbles” as they say, Qingdao absolutely needs a win if they want to stay up, but even with a win, they would have a hard time leapfrogging Jiangsu, whose goal differential is at -6 to Qingdao’s -15. Changchun visit a Shanghai Shenhua side that has been doing well as of late, whereas Hangzhou host a struggling Guizhou.

1 Henan Construction – 59 points
2 Harbin Yiteng – 57 points
3 Guangdong Sunray Cave – 54 points

We don’t often talk about the China League around here, but there isn’t much to talk about in the CSL, so its worth a look. The top sides keep winning and Henan looks likely to go up, but who will be joining them is the question. I fretted over whether to include Chongqing Lifan, they still have a tiny bit of hope (at least for another week), but on 47 points they don’t have a realistic shot. Here’s the remaining matches and recent form (as there isn’t much knowledge about the other sides, in paranthesis are the remaining opponents current ranking):

Henan – vs. Tianjin (10), @ Shenzhen (5)
Last 5 matches – DWLWD
Harbin – @ Yanbian (11), vs. BIT (9)
Last 5 matches – LWWLW
Guangdong – @ BIT (9), vs. Chongqing FC (16)
Last 5 matches – WDDWD

Harbin was the only side at the top in the China League that was able to come up with a victory last weekend, as Henan and Guangdong both managed a draw. Henan still sit at the top of the table and are pretty much have two matches to earn one point and secure their return to the CSL next season. However, the league is still up for grabs as Harbin go back to being only two points back. Third place side Guangdong are still in the promotion picture, but they’ll need to win and hope that Harbin seriously hit the skids if they want to make it into the top flight.

At the bottom of the China League table, six teams are battling to stay up:
11 Yanbian – 28 points
12 Hunan – 27 points
13 Hubei – 27 points
14 Chengdu – 26 points
15 Guizhou – 25 points
16 Chongqing FC – 23 points

Guizhou 1 point, Chengdu 1 point, Hubei 3, Hunan 0 yanbian 1
The picture at the bottom didn’t get any clearer last weekend, though Hubei leaped out of the relegation zone after earning three points against B.I.T., leaving Guizhou in their former spot after the club drew against Beijing Baxy. No side is safe yet, but tomorrow sees a real six pointer in Chongqing as FC take on Hubei.

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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