On Easter Sunday it was Guangzhou R&F who looked dead and buried at half time as they were 2-0 down away to Changchun Yatai only to rise and stage a miraculous comeback to win 3-2 with Davi scoring a 93rd minute winner. The blue and whites dominated the whole game but couldn’t convert their pressure into chances until the second period.
CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 7
Changchun Yatai 2
Rafael Coelho 19′, Fatos Beciraj 34′
Guangzhou R&F 3
Anzur Ismailov (OG) 47′, Jiang Ning 76′, Davi 93′
R&F welcomed back Park Jong-Woo from suspension but were without Abderazzak Hamdallah whose injury at the end of the Henan game turned out to be more serious than expected so the Cantonese played Zhang Yuan as their lone front man with Ken Islo in behind. Changchun meanwhile had ex-R&F player Rafael Coelho in their side due to Walter Iglesias’s injury.
The blue and whites quickly took control of possession and both wingers, Wang Xiaolong and Jiang Ning, had chances inside the opening ten minutes. Changchun took the lead against the run of play after twenty minutes though when R&F goalkeeper Cheng Yuelei flapped at a corner and Coelho rifled in the loose ball. Former teammates and fans no doubt felt betrayed by the passion with which the Brazilian celebrated this goal against his old club.
The Cantonese kept up their pressure without managing to create any clear chances and were stung on the break by their hosts who went 2-0 ahead. Fatos Beciraj ran onto a through ball and stayed upright after goalkeeper Cheng’s feet-first lunge missed both him and the ball to slide home at the near post despite Jiang Zhipeng’s efforts.
R&F dominated possession but without Hamdallah they struggled to create chances so Sven Goran Eriksson replaced Islo with Zhang Shuo at half time and the move immediately paid dividends as the Cantonese set about atoning for their first half sins. Zhang Yuan was shifted to the right wing and his cut-back from the goal-line inside the area was deflected into his own goal by the unfortunate Uzbek Anzur Ismailov.
Suddenly the blue and whites were singing from the same hymn sheet and Wang Xiaolong had a header well saved before he shot wide from an angle. The reds reminded the visitors that they wouldn’t have everything their own way when Coelho’s run sparked a goalmouth scramble but Tang Maio hacked the ball clear. Both teams hit the woodwork in the 70th minute, Changchun from a corner and R&F via a Jiang cross-shot, but the final twenty minutes of the game belonged to the Cantonese.
First, Park’s beautifully curled freekick was met by the head of unmarked Jiang Ning to finally score the equaliser with fifteen minutes left which gave R&F had a chance for a rare away win. It nearly arrived in the 88th minute when a corner caused panic in Changchun’s defence but the hosts survived for the moment. Just as the reds thought they’d escaped with a point, Davi passed to Jiang Ning and then continued his run towards goal which Jiang expertly picked out, allowing the Brazilian to score a late, late winner and point to the heavens in thanks.
Changchun can have few complaints about losing given that they spent the vast majority of the game on the back foot but will be distraught that they let in the decisive goal with only seconds left.
That goal will have given R&F a huge boost to their confidence though because no matter that it was against the run of play, 2-0 down away from home at half time would’ve spelled defeat in previous years. However, that it took until the 93rd minute to take the lead despite having 73% possession will worry Sven and the Swede will be praying that Hamdallah is fit for Dalian’s visit to Yuexiushan on Saturday.
Changchun Yatai (4-4-2): 29 – Song Zhenyu, 12 – Jianjun, 2 – Wang Wanpeng, 5 – Anzur Ismailov, 23 – Zhang Xiaofei,18 – Li Ting (78 minutes 15 – Sun Jie), 6 – Pei Shuai, 11 – Rafael Coelho (74 minutes 16 – Jiang Zhe), 21 – Liu Weidong, 8 – Eninho 9 – Fatos Beciraj
Guangzhou R & F (4-2-3-1): 1 – Cheng Yuelei, 20 – Tang Miao, 5 – Zhang Yaokun 15 – Jang Hyun-Soo 11 – Jiang Zhipeng, 19 – Wang Xiaolong (73 minutes 23 – Lu Lin), 10 – Davi, 8 – Park Jong-Woo, 7 – Jiang Ning, 27 –Ken Ilso (46 minutes 29 – Zhang Shuo), 18 – Zhang Yuan (81 minutes 21 – Chang Feiya)