Shanghai East Asia secured their first 3 points of the season with a resounding 5-1 win at home against city rivals Shanghai Shenxin.
CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 2
Shanghai East Asia 5
Lü Wenjun 36′, Wu Lei (PK) 45’+1, T. Hysen 69′, 87′, Wang Jiajie 90’+1
Shanghai Shenxin 1
After going behind courtesy of a 9th minute opener from Brazilian striker Kieza, East Asia responded in emphatic style, and taking the lead through a Wu Lei penalty on the stroke of half time.
The second half only worsened for the visiting side, ending in an all round abject performance and result to match. The home side, on the other hand, will be delighted with the manner in which they commanded the flow of the game, limiting Shenxin to only one shot on target throughout.
East Asia began the game with the same line-up as last week’s 1-1 draw at Liaoning Whowin. They started in a 4-4-1-1 formation; Tobias Hysen leading the forward line, with Daniel McBreen providing support in the second striker role. Wu Lei again began in an advanced right midfield position, with the lively Lü Wenjun providing support on the opposite flank.
Despite a promising start from East Asia – Wang Jiayu and Wu Lei combining well in midfield, and McBreen and Hysen looking eager, yet muted – it was Shenxin who broke the deadlock against the run of play, after 9 minutes. Sun Kai’s throw-in from just inside East Asia’s half was neatly flicked on by Kieza towards teammate Wang Yun. The winger was able to hold off the challenge of ex-Shenxin man Wang Jiayu, delivering the return ball into the centre of the penalty area. Skipping past centre back Ransford Addo, and the oncoming Cai Huikang, Kieza gathered and calmly finished with his left foot from 8 yards.
East Asia responded positively however, Wu Lei looking energetic; exploiting the space between the Shenxin defence and midfield on a number of occasions. The home side probed, but ultimately couldn’t carve out any really threatening attempts on goal. Indeed, they could have gone further behind in the 27th minute, after Yang Jiawei found himself in space on the left hand side of the box, latching onto a lofted ball from inside the Shenxin half. The midfielder centred the ball towards goal-scorer Kieza, splitting centre backs Ransford Addo and Ibán Cuadrado. However, the Brazilian could only muster a tame effort, which was easily gathered by Yan Junling.
Despite this, Shenxin’s ascendency was short-lived, as East Asia slowly grew into the game, pushing higher up the park and putting the visitors on the back foot. Wu Lei went close on 28 minutes, firing wide after finding himself free inside the area from an East Asia throw-in. The home side’s dominance finally paid off in the 36th minute, as Wang Jiayu’s corner swung in from the left hand side. Wang Yun’s headed clearance could only reach Lü Wenjun, loitering on the 6-yard line. With his back to goal, the winger pulled off a spectacular acrobatic overhead kick across the goal to the goalkeeper’s right. Exuberant celebrations followed, with Lü picking up a booking, having disposed of his shirt and given the finger to someone on the far side of the pitch.
The strong support inside Shanghai Stadium grew louder following the equaliser, and to their delight, East Asia piled on the pressure accordingly – resulting in a second goal before half time. Hysen came into the game more, combining much better with McBreen who repeatedly came deep to collect the ball from the midfielders, and the young Fu Huan overlapped cleverly with Wu Lei down the right hand side. East Asia forced two late first half corners in quick succession, the second of which ended in a scramble around the penalty spot, before Cai Huikang struck the ball against Shenxin captain Zhao Zuojun’s arm. The referee was decisive in pointing to the penalty spot, and Wu Lei confidently placed the ball into the top right corner of the goal from the resulting penalty kick.
The teams came out for the second half unchanged, and play resumed the way it had ended, with East Asia still on the up. Forwards Hysen and McBreen both combined well with Wu Lei, although both scuffed chances early on. In the 51st minute the home team could have had another penalty, as McBreen went down in the box, only for the referee to this time wave play on. Shenxin did manage to break through the East Asia defence, however, with Kieza blazing over after some intelligent build-up play. The reds’ defence, although largely organised, were guilty of failing to clear their lines on more than one occasion, and against a more potent strike force would more than likely have suffered the consequences.
The home side regained control, however, and the replacement of Wang Jiayu by the more defensive-minded Wang Jiajie shored up the midfield, allowing the wider players to advance. Fu Huan again overlapped well from fullback down the right, and Wu Lei saw another penalty shout turned down in the 66th minute. Nonetheless, 2 minutes later, the game was all but sealed, as Zhao Zuojun’s miserable afternoon continued. Hysen outmuscled the defender, following a long route-one ball from goalkeeper Yan Junling, advancing on goal before slotting the ball home with the outside of his left boot.
As the game progressed, the impressive Wu Lei became ever more involved, subjected to several whole-hearted challenges along the way. The attacking midfielder appeared frustrated with the referee’s puzzling reluctance to issue what could have been a number of yellow cards. Lü Wenjun produced some good running in the final third, and Fu Huan continued his outstanding performance with yet more darting runs from right back. Chances kept coming for East Asia; Hysen finding himself facing another one-on-one with the Shenxin goalkeeper, having chased down McBreen’s though ball. The Sweden international was not as composed this time, however, unable to curve the ball around ‘keeper Liu Dianzuo.
Things got even worse for the Cheng Yaodong’s side as the game entered the last 5 minutes. Wu Lei picked up a loose ball well inside his own half before dribbling past the halfway line and playing a hopeful ball over the Shenxin defensive line. Again, the away team’s individual errors cost them big, as Dianzuo inexplicably failed to clear the ball, having rushed out to beat the advancing Hysen. For the second time in the game, he was able to use his weight effectively to win the ball from an opposition player, before firmly finishing with a solid strike from the left side of the Shenxin penalty area.
Shenxin’s miserable afternoon was compounded in the first minute of extra time. East Asia captain, Wang Shenchao starting an attack wide on the left, which concluded in substitutes Wang Jiajie and Zhu Zhengrong collaborating incisively, allowing Wang to shoot unchallenged from 25 yards out. The shot fired past the helpless Liu Dianzuo to round off a fantastic afternoon for East Asia, who will be thrilled with the comprehensive fashion in which they saw off today’s opponents. Both players and fans will have great cause for optimism going into next weekend’s clash at Hangzhou Greentown, having seen an organised and effective side dismantle an admittedly poor Shenxin outfit. As for Shenxin, they will want to move on from this swiftly, as they come up against a Guangzhou R&F side still looking for their first win next week. They can only hope their injury problems ease up soon, as fans will undoubtedly be concerned after a disappointing start to the season.
Shanghai East Asia: 1 Yan Junling; 25 Ransford Addo, 21 Ibán Javier Cuadrado, 4 Wang Shenchao, 23 Fu Huan, 7 Wu Lei, 20 Wang Jiayu (63′ – 5 Wang Jiajie), 6 Cai Huikang, 9 Tobias Hysen, 36 Daniel McBreen (89’ – 13 Zheng Dalun), 11 Lu Wenjun (84′ – 10 Zhu Zhengrong).
Shanghai Shenxin: 25 Liu Dianzuo; 3 Zhao Zuojun (74′ – 29 Jiang Xiaochen), 4 Sun Kai, 17 Lim You-Hwan, 18 Ge Zhen (56′ – 19 Wu Yizhen), 27 Yang Jiawei, 2 Jiang Jiajun, 16 Yu Tao, 20 Wang Yun,11 R. Đalović (56′ – 15 Zou Zhongting), 10 Kieza.