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Opening games equal CSL record for lowest goal return

The opening round of the 2014 Chinese Super League season has matched the competition’s record for lowest goal total in a full set of eight matches, with just thirteen goals in total.

Indeed, champions Guangzhou Evergrande’s 3-0 win over Henan Jianye was the only match to reach three goals, while Shanghai Shenhua were the only other side to score more than once over the three days of action.

However, what will please CSL organisers is that the opening fixtures attracted an average attendance of 27,261, of which 45,800 were at the Tianhe Stadium for Evergrande’s first league outing of the year.

The low goals total, though, prompted some criticism of the standard of football on show on social networking sites after only one of the first five games of the weekend saw a goal scored in the first-half.

Sunday’s games, at least, saw the return of first half goalscoring with four strikes coming in the opening periods of the three games.

Besides Evergrande, Beijing Guoan, Jiangsu Sainty and Liaoning all attracted crowds in excess of 30,000 for their first league outings of the campaign, while the lowest crowd of the weekend came at the Shanghai derby between Shenxin and Shenhua, with just 12,098 spectators making the trip to the Jinshan Stadium.

In all, a total of 218,084 spectators watched top-flight action in China this weekend.

Based in Guangzhou, Christopher covers Chinese football for a range of media outlets worldwide and is Wild East Football's lead editor for news content.   His work can regularly be seen on ESPN FC, Bleacher Report and Hupu amongst other media outlets, while he has interviewed a number of leading figures in Chinese football.

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