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Hat-trick hero Hamdallah sinks Shenxin in Guangzhou R&F victory

Moroccan striker Abderazzak Hamdallah’s first goals for Guangzhou R&F earned the Cantonese club victory in a very open game. Hosts Shenxin had taken the lead but fell behind when Hamdallah grabbed his second immediately after a Shenxin freekick had struck the bar. Despite the hosts threatening to equalise on numerous occasions any hopes of a comeback were extinguished in injury time when Hamdallah completed his hat-trick.

CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 3

Shanghai Shenxin 1
Kieza (pen) 14’

Guangzhou R&F 3
Abderazzak Hamdallah 26’, 48’, 93’

Sven Goran Eriksson sprung several pre-match surprises by leaving Jiang Ning and Davi out of the squad and dropping Wang Xiaolong to the bench. In came young winger Chang Feiya and debutant Ken Larsen. Shenxin started with only one foreigner, opting to leave Paraiba and Dalovic on the bench.

Shenxin were under pressure after losing two consecutive Shanghai derbies but started well and had a header tipped over by Cheng Yuelei after only five minutes. They were ahead shortly after when Zhang Yaokun conceded a soft penalty for what appeared to be little more than a shoulder barge. Kieza won the penalty and converted with a stuttering run-up modelled on Vagner Love’s in the ACL.

Guangzhou R&F’s first chance came from a Park freekick which Hamdallah headed off the crossbar; the Moroccan was on target after 26 minutes though. Zhang Yuan’s run was followed by a nicely weighted pass by Larsen to Tang Miao who pulled the ball back for Hamdallah to sweep home.

Chang Feiya should’ve played Hamdallah in for a second after half an hour but after showing his blistering pace the youngster miss-controlled the ball in the box and Liu Dianzuo in the Shenxin goal pounced. Shenxin had largely been happy to play the ball quickly up to their two strikers but a more fluent move ended with winger Wang Yun shooting into the side netting shortly before the break.

On those occasions when Shenxin committed more men forward a change in possession would inevitably result in a foul, they picked up four yellow cards in the first half, which reduced opportunities for R&F to play. Somehow the man in the middle didn’t deem any of R&F’s Korean midfielder Park Jong-Woo’s transgressions worthy of a card though.

A freekick was given against Park right at the start of the second half but Wang’s shot rebounded off the crossbar. This was a crucial moment as the blue and whites took the lead immediately following Cheng’s goal kick as Chang Feiya skipped through one challenge before laying the ball off for Hamdallah to coolly finish.

The game continued at a high pace and there were chances for both sides; Jiang Zhipeng putting in a vital block against his old side before teammate Zhang Yuan wasted a good chance at the other end. Hamdallah was the next to miss as he was unable to lob Liu after great control from a long ball.

Shenxin were showing greater control than in the first half and began to put increasing pressure on the R&F defence; sub Jailton Paraiba was denied by the legs of Cheng before the Brazilian later put his reflex volley over the bar after Cheng had saved well from Jiang Xiaochen’s header. Young Korean Zhang Hyun-Soo had another impressive game in the heart of the R&F defence and Li Yan came on in central midfield for Zhu Baojie to help the back four out although right back Tang Miao was taken off on a stretcher shortly afterwards.

R&F had their backs to the wall but with the hosts pushing for an equaliser there was plenty of space for the blue and whites to exploit on the counterattack. Hamdallah was guilty of missing several particularly good chances whilst striker partner Larsen struggled to get into the game. After Yang Jiawei was denied by a great Jang Hyun-Soo block the Moroccan would finally complete his hat trick as he fired high into the net from just inside the Shenxin area after another counterattack.

Three losses in a row leave things looking bleak for the Jinshan side but the small band of travelling fans, augmented by the new Shanghai R&F supporters group, could celebrate seeing only Guangzhou R&F’s sixth away win in the CSL.

Shanghai Shenxin: 25-Liu Dianzuo; 4-Sun Kai, 17-Lin Yuhuan (3-Zhao Zuojun 61 min), 16-Yu Tao, 18-Ge Zhen (8-Jailton Paraiba 59 min); 27-Yang Jiawei, 2-Jiang Jiajun, 5-Tang Jiashu, 6-Hou Junjie (29-Jiang Xiaochen, 70 minutes), 20-Wang Yun; 10-Kieza

Guangzhou R&F: 1-Cheng Yuelei; 20-Tang Miao (14-Li Jianhua, 67 min), 5-Zhang Yaokun, 15-Jang Hyun-Soo, 11-Jiang Zhipeng; 18-Zhang Yuan, 36-Zhu Baojie (33-Li Yan 61 min), 8-Park Jong-Woo, 21-Chang Feiya (23-Lu Lin 90 min); 9-Hamdallah, 27-Larsen

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.

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