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Chinese Super League

Round 30 – Analyzing the races

It’s all come down to this, the final 90 minutes of the 2013 season are this weeken, China League opens as an appetizer on Saturday with the Chinese Super League the main course on Sunday, an interesting relegation fight exists in both leagues as we also have a close eye on who will be joining the CSL in 2014. The last round has brought an end to two races, with Henan Construction winning the China League and a spot in the CSL and Beijing Guoan securing Asian football for another season. Here’s a look at the remaining races.


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

Here are the remaining matches:
Jiangsu – vs. East Asia
Last 5 matches – LWDDL
Qingdao – @ Beijing
Last 5 matches – LLWLW
Changchun – vs. Liaoning
Last 5 matches – WWLWL

So the first thing to note about this week’s summary is that one team is missing. Despite thinking that Hangzhou Greentown would go down due to a tough schedule, the side managed a point at Beijing and a win over Guizhou to get themselves to 34 points and clear of the drop zone. For Changchun, an 87th minute goal from Shanghai Shenhua’s Gio Moreno condemned them to defeat and will see them open Sunday in the final relegation position. The side hosts Liaoning needing a win and some assistance, especially because they lose out on a tiebreaker if neither Jiangsu or Qingdao loses. Qingdao has the most difficult task of any of the sides looking to stay up as they are on the road at Worker’s Stadium, a hard task, but with Guoan already securing 3rd place, they might not be fully motivated. It’s going to be an exciting day and fans in at least three cities will be watching what’s going on elsewhere in the country.

1 Henan Construction – 62 points
2 Guangdong Sunray Cave – 57 points
3 Harbin Yiteng – 57 points

Harbin – vs. BIT (9)
Last 5 matches – WWLWL
Guangdong – vs. Chongqing FC (15)
Last 5 matches – DDWDW

So We know Henan already gained promotion, but it’s now a mad dash for 2nd place and the final promotion spot in the China League as Harbin suffered a disappointing loss to Yanbian, while Guangdong continued their undefeated streak. The tiebreakers for the China League (and the CSL) work like this:
1 – Head-to-head points
2 – Head-to-head goal differential
3 – Head-to-head goals scored
4 – Overall goal differential
5 – Overall goals scored
6 – “Fair Play” (Least yellow and red cards)
7 – Names drawn

In their head-to-head matches, they split the difference, with Guangdong winning 3-2 in Round 5 and Harbin winning 1-0 in Round 20, so 1,2, and 3 are all even. Both sides have a goal differential of 23, so what it comes down to is that Guangdong have scored 51 goals, one more than Harbin. With Guangdong hosting Chongqing, who are fighting to avoid relegation, they’d be a good bet to go up, though Harbin should be able to handle BIT at home, so it’s going to come down to who scores more (or perhaps even further down the tiebreaker table).

The picture at the bottom is even more murky, with four sides struggling to stay alive:

13 Chengdu – 29 points
14 Hubei – 27 points
15 Chongqing FC – 26 points
16 Guizhou – 25 points

To make it all the more exciting, Hubei will host Chengdu on Saturday afternoon, both sides above the drop right now, but neither completely out of the water yet. As mentioned above, Chongqing’s in the most dangerous spot as they will travel to Guangdong, who need a win to gain promotion, while Guizhou is on the road at Tianjin. It is sure to be a wild, unusual Saturday afternoon in Chinese football.

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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