It’s still early in the season but it looks like it’s going to be a quality race as Beijing Guoan and Guangzhou Evergrande sit atop the table tied on points. Shandong can take the outright lead if they win their midweek fixture as last seasons top three jostle for position. Wild East Football bring you this weeks action from around the league and across the country.
Here’s a wrap of the action that took place in week 5:
Liaoning Whowin 3-0 Harbin Yiteng
Newly promoted Harbin Yiteng travelled to Liaoning to take Whowin as both teams look for their first win of the season. The home side made the most of what was essentially a 6-pointer coming out 3-0 victors in the weekends first game.
Harbin were woeful on the day and were aptly put to the sword by Lioaning’s attacking pairing of James (Chamanga), the big Zambian, and Aleksandar Jevtic, the playmaking Serbian. James was rewarded with a hat trick as he proved too much for the Yiteng defense.
Shanghai East Asia tasted defeat for the first time this season in what turned out to be a thoroughly frustrating evening for the league leaders, away at Henan Jianye. Despite dominating possession and having far more opportunities on goal, the visitors finishing touch – which had seen them net 9 times in their first 4 games – simply eluded them.
East Asia notched up 15 attempts on goal to Henan’s 3, but could not find a way past Zhou Yajun in goal for the hosts. Wu Lei produced another excellent energetic display, and was at the heart of the majority of Shanghai’s attacking play, but was let down by some poor finishing by his colleagues. As East Asia frantically went in search of a winner, Henan remained patient; finally making the breakthrough after substitute Ryan Johnson’s expertly taken goal. The visiting side were the architects of their own downfall, however – controlling the game but lacking the wherewithal to seize the initiative.
Jiangsu Sainty 4-0 Tianjin Teda
Jiangsu looked to maintain there good run and keep within striking distance of the teams at the top and they did just that with a solid win over visitors Tianjin. Although Tianjin had a few chances in the game, the result never really looked in doubt as Sainty ran out 4-0 winners, albeit with two goals added in the last 4 minutes.
Montenegrin hit man Dejan continued his strong run of form grabbing a brace and forming a dangerous partnership with Brazilian Elias who also got on the score sheet. Defender Zhou Yun added another as he swept in from close range following a nice glancing header from a Jiangsu corner. Sainty are now five points of the top with a game in hand.
A perplexing goalkeeping blunder from Shenhua’s Geng Xiaofeng cost the Shanghai side a vaulable three points away to Changchun Yatai and continued their miserable 8-year run of not having won a CSL match in the Dongbei city.
The visitors had twice led the match but a harmless-looking looping header from Rafael Coelho with literally seconds on the clock denied coach Sergio Batista a winning start in his first match back in the Shenhua hotseat.
Shanghai Shenxin 0-1 Shandong Luneng
Shandong ground out a fighting 1-0 win away to struggling Shanghai Shenxin. Shandong, last year’s runners up, must realise that these are the types of victories that will see them narrow the gap between them and the Guangzhou Evergrande powerhouse. The win showed character and leaves them needing to win on Wednesday night to go clear at the top of the log, one point ahead of Guoan and Evergrande.
It was a game of many chances and realistically could have ended 2-2 or even 3-3. But in the end, Zhang Wenzhao’s winner in the 24th minute proved the difference between a title contender and a relegation candidate. Zhang showed great predatory instincts when he pounced on a wayward back pace, skipped past the centre back and cooly slotted home.
Hangzhou Greentown 2-1 Guizhou Renhe
Guizhou will be absolutely kicking themselves after they threw away a game the could have, and really should have, won. They completely overwhelmed the home side in the first half but had nothing to show for their dominance as they went into the break 0-0. It took until the 57th minute, and a ridiculous handball in the area from forward Dong Yu, for Guizhou to take the lead through a penalty, converted by a composed Misimovic.
The game should really have been dead and buried when the visitors had a great one-on-one chance in the 75th minute, only to see the keeper pull of a sharp save. What followed was a dramatic scene. Hangzhou levelled matters in the 89th minute, with a little luck, as Luo Jing’s long range rocket rebounded off the cross bar, back onto the ‘keeper, and then inches over the line. Four minutes later in the last minute of stoppage time, the hosts completed the miraculous comeback with a scrappy goal following a corner from centre back Shi Ke.
After a string of subdued performances, Guangzhou returned to their high-scoring ways against Dalian Aerbin, though the result itself was in the balance right up until injury time. Elkeson was instrumental, scoring two and forcing the save that led to another, but Yu Hanchao also sparkled with a classy brace of his own.
With marquee signing Alessandro Diamanti still finding his feet, and not his teammates, it was the Brazilian who led the Southerners to a much needed victory.
Beijing Guoan 2-0 Guangzhou R&F
After recent struggles, Beijing Guoan returned to form with an important win against Guangzhou R&F with goals in the final minutes of each half, provided by Joffre Guerron and Shao Jiayi. The win moves Guoan level on points with leaders Guangzhou Evergrande, while R&F fall for the first time this season.
The opening half of play didn’t see a lot of chances created, but of those that were, Guoan dominated. The attack most often flowed through Guerron, who forced R&F keeper Cheng Yuelei to make a pair of difficult saves. The break would finally come just as the half was entering added time, a well placed Zhou Ting cross somehow found Guerron’s head, despite being sandwiched between two defenders, and he was able to angle it past Cheng.