CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 1
Guangzhou R&F 1;
Tianjin TEDA 1
Wang Xinxin 90′
After leading from the 6th minute of the match, Guangzhou R&F gave up a 90th minute equaliser when Wang Xinxin capitalised on a free header inside the six yard box.
Tianjin TEDA had the bulk of the play, but there would have been no way back for them had Wang Xiaolong not missed late on with an almost open goal at his mercy.
Guangzhou R&F lost Jiang Ning to injury in training so Sven Goran Eriksson’s starting line-up showed five changes to that which played against Shanghai Shenhua at the end of last season. Tianjin, who have Arie Haan back in charge, were much less active in the transfer market and were prevented from giving a debut to one of their few new signings, Mohammed Ali Khan, as he dislocated an arm in their last friendly match.
With the 2014 CSL season only six minutes old for both sides, South Korean Park Jong-Woo tackled Li Benjian and Davi raced away up field. The defence backed off him and the Brazilian midfielder let fly from the edge of the box with a shot that was still rising as it went past Tianjin keeper Zong Lei and into the top corner.
After this early goal the Cantonese would struggle to impose themselves on the game as their hosts constantly looked to use the full width of the pitch and play their attackers, particular the pacey Valencia, in behind R&F’s defensive line. Wang and Bai Yuefeng had good chances to level the score but Valencia squandered the best of the lot when his free header landed on the roof of the net. Cheng Yuelei made a few good saves and Tang Miao one excellent covering challenge on Brazilian striker Bare. The right back was lucky that a later tackle was given as a free kick rather than a penalty as it looked like the contact was inside the area.
The Blue and Whites survived until the break, though, with new signing Abderazak Hamdallah showing some nice touches up front. Sadly he failed to touch the ball at all when played through by Zhang Yuan at the start of the second half and Zong smothered the chance.
The familiar pattern of Tianjin pressure was resumed after this but the Northerners couldn’t find the breakthrough despite chances from numerous corners and open play; Zhou Haibin crashing a shot of the crossbar and Valencia shooting straight at Cheng with one of his sides better chances.
Time was running out and Tianjin were so keen for an equaliser that when R&F midfielder Davi was taken off on a stretcher the bearers ran instead of walking as is normally, and more sensibly, the case. His departure allowed Wang Xiaolong to move into the centre of the pitch and the former Beijing Guoan man would miss a glorious chance to hand R&F only their sixth CSL away win but with the whole of the right hand side of the goal empty he placed his shot wide of the left hand post.
He was made to regret it in stoppage time when an inexcusable error by the R&F defence gifted Tianjin an equaliser. Miscommunication between Tang Miao and Jang Hyun-Soo allowed Du Zhenyu time to control a long ball and cross to the unmarked Wang to score sparking wild celebrations in Tianjin’s cavernous Olympic Stadium.
Tianjin TEDA (4-4-2): 1 – Zong Lei, 19 – Bai Yuefeng 3 – Lima, 5 – Li Weifeng (86 minutes, 8 – Hu Rentian), 27 – Yuan Weiwei, 33 – Zhou Haibin, 10 – Wang Xinxin 7 – Lee Benjian (17 minutes, 26 – Cao Yang), 4 – Du Zhenyu, 9 – Bare (63 minutes, 11 – Andrezinho), 14 – Valencia;
Guangzhou R & F (4-5-1): 1 – Cheng Yuelei 20 – Tang Miao, 5 – Zhang Yaokun 15 – Jang Hyun-Soo 11 – Jiang Zhipeng, 18 – Zhang Yuan, 10 – Davi (74 minutes, 23 – Lu Lin), 8 – Park Jong-Woo 33 – Li Yan, 19 – Wang Xiaolong (85 minutes, 6 – Xu Bo), 9 – Abderazak Hamdallah.