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Guangzhou R&F Swamp Hangzhou Greentown

R&F put six goals past Hangzhou to ensure that the match will be remembered as much for Abderazzak Hamdallah’s ten minute hat-trick as the state of the pitch. Undaunted by the swamp like nature of the playing surface Hangzhou started brightly and didn’t deserve to lose by four goals but were undone by two soft penalties and some great strikes from distance.

CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 4

Guangzhou R&F 6
Davi (pen) 25’, Ken Ilsø ’54, Lu Lin 80’, Abderazzak Hamdallah 85’, (pen) 93’, 95’

Hangzhou Greentown 2
Davy Claude Angan 6’, Gilberto Macena 55’

Davi returned for the Blue and Whites, but Korean defender Jang Hyun-Soo’s absence saw Xu Bo made his first start of the season. Hangzhou, meanwhile, opted for an adventurous line-up with Macena, Anselmo Ramon and Davy Claude Angan all playing. The real pre-match news was that there was a match at all though as Guangzhou had been deluged by rain for the previous 24 hours. The drainage at Yuexiushan did an admirable job but one that in many countries would have been deemed not good enough as there were areas of standing water on the swamp pitch.

Nevertheless the game went ahead and Hangzhou immediately settled in with an Angan header forcing Cheng Yuelei into a save after just three minutes. R&F didn’t heed the warning and the striker from the Côte d’Ivoire beat Tang Miao in the box and shot past Cheng to open the scoring shortly afterwards.

R&F were really struggling until being awarded a fortuitous penalty after twenty five minutes when Zhao Yuhao was ruled to have pulled down Hamdallah in the box as both players waited for a cross. Zhao will feel aggrieved because whilst he was tugging the Moroccan’s shirt, every other defender in the CSL would have done the same and 99% of the time got away with it. Davi wasn’t in a charitable mood and made him pay when he scored the resulting penalty.

A waterlogged Yuexiushan an hour before kick-off

A waterlogged Yuexiushan an hour before kick-off

The pitch made passing football difficult as the ball would stop dead in puddles and particularly boggy areas so both sides used the long balls and shots from distance that the conditions demanded. With the rain still lashing down and the stadium sparsely populated the rest of the first half was not an exciting spectacle.

There was a brief respite from the rain at half time and when the players emerged in new shirts for the second half the game burst into life. First, Ken Ilso, who was playing in midfield this week, drilled a twenty five yard shot into the top right hand corner after Davi’s pass. This goal was entirely thanks to the pitch as the long ball that started the move stopped in a puddle rather than rolling over the touchline as it would’ve on a dry surface which allowed Zhang Yuan to reach it.

Hangzhou were undeterred and replied instantly when Macena and Ramon combined for the former to equalise. Angan almost gave his side the lead in the seventieth minute but fired into the side netting.

The Blue and Whites were growing in confidence and began to pass the ball around more in the Hangzhou half, creating chances for their trio of foreign attackers; Davi somehow managing to hit the crossbar from five yards out. He needn’t have worried though because two minutes later substitute Lu Lin cut in from the left flank and fired the ball into the far corner to give the Cantonese the lead.

Abderazzak Hamdallah scored his second hat-trick in two weeks

Abderazzak Hamdallah scored his second hat-trick in two weeks

With five minutes of normal time to go some of the few fans present were no doubt thinking about going home to dry out but Hamdallah’s powerful strike from Davi’s lay-off would’ve given them other ideas. The Moroccan completed his second hat-trick in as many weeks within stoppage time thanks to another dubious refereeing decision when Cao Haiqing was ruled to have pulled him back in the box. Another harsh penalty but Hamdallah showed no mercy as he dispatched the penalty and then demonstrated his strength on a solo run to grab his third in the final minute.

Guangzhou R&F will be delighted with the win as it maintains their unbeaten start to the season but Hangzhou didn’t deserve to lose so heavily, especially given how soft the penalties were to say nothing of the state of the pitch which was not fit for a football match at all.

 

Guangzhou R&F: 1 – Cheng Yuelei; 20 – Tang Miao, 5 – Zhang Yaokun, 6 – Xu Bo, 11 – Jiang Zhipeng; 18 – Zhang Yuan (69 minutes 23 – Lu Lin), 8 – Park Jong-Woo, 10 – Davi (87 minutes 33 – Li Yan), 21 – Chang Feiya; 27 – Ken Ilso 9 – Abderazzak Hamdallah

Hangzhou Greentown: 1 – Gu Chao; 16 – Fan Xiaodong, 18 – Zhao Yuhao, 5 – Shi Ke, 28 – Cao Haiqing; 6 – Son Dae-Ho 14 – Feng Gang; 7 – Gilberto Macena, 33 – Wang Song, 20 – Davy Claude Angan; 9 – Anselmo Ramon (64 minutes 30 – Luka Zinko)

Donald began following Guangzhou R&F having moved to China in the same year that R&F moved to Guangzhou. The club’s first foreign season ticket holder, Donald was able to watch three seasons at Yuexiushan before returning to the UK.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Fuligan-Tom

    01/04/2014 at 00:08

    Great write up Donald – it was some game!

    Just as it looked like the match was going to wind down at 2-2 Lu Lin pops up and bags an absolute peach of a goal. The wee man is an absolute legend and definitely deserves longer than his standard 20 minutes each week. I’d definitely like to see Lu Lin get a chance in the starting line-up against Beijing. We can afford to get at teams more now we have Park shoring up the midfield and a back four that finally look capable of keeping clean sheets – torrential downpour permitting…

    Cheng also had a solid game. He adds alot of confidence to the back four and cant be too far off a call up to the national team.

    As for Hamdallah, he is everything Yakubu was not: fast, able to shoot from range, runs his heart out for 90 mins… I dont expect we’ll be seeing him out at the bars as much either! That said, in the opening game against Liaoning it did look like we were going to miss the Yak’s strength in the box and six-yard tap-ins but Hamdallah’s performances over the last two weeks have opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for Fuli going forward. Without getting too carried away he’s a little big like the CSL’s answer to Luis Suarez…

    Two wins and two draws from the opening four games is a great start for a team that looked worryingly stale pre-season. Next week against Beijing will be a big test but I can see us getting something from the game. We should at least do better than the corresponding fixture last season when we got humped 6-0!

    • Donald Ross

      02/04/2014 at 09:34

      Cheers Tom. I agree, Lu Lin deserves a chance to start, I’d pick him ahead of Zhang Yuan and Chang Feiya. Will be interesting to see what Sven does when Jiang Ning and Wang Xiaolong are both fit again. Seeing someone who is prepared to put the effort in up front is very refreshing. Hamdallah has probably covered more distance in the opening four games that Yakubu did in one and a half years.

      Beijing aren’t on a great run of form at the moment but going to Gongti will still be tough, I hope Jang Hyun-Soo is fit to play at centre back because Xu Bo isn’t quick enough to deal with Utaka.

  2. Peter I

    01/04/2014 at 21:05

    Great game for the neutral!

    Unfortunately being a Greentown fan it was a miserable and undeserved scoreline,

    Only bright spot from the game was Ramon finally showed he’s a worth a weekly wage

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