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Historic victory for Harbin completes wonderful week

It may have taken 10 weeks to come, but Harbin Yiteng have secured three CSL points for the first time ever, defeating Changchun Yatai 3-1, capping off a big week which earlier saw them secure their first ever CSL point in a draw against Henan Jianye.

CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 10

Harbin Yiteng 3

Han Deming 28′, Dori 66′, Ricardo Steer 81′

Changchun Yatai 1

Eninho 37′

Attendance: 18,317

Newly promoted to the top flight for the first time, Harbin limped through a long, seven match away trip that saw them fail to secure a point, a streak that would last eight matches before a 1-1 draw against Henan in midweek.

Not for the first time this year, Harbin jumped out to the lead just before the half hour mark, Liu Jian played a cross that Han Deming was able to head past a surprised keeper. Despite the early hope, the large crowd that showed up despite the downpour was soon disappointed when Changchun equalized late in the first half. The goal came through an Eninho free kick, a beautiful piece of skill that seemed like it put an end to Harbin’s hopes.

Things didn’t go much better in the second half, with Harbin on the defensive for much of it, however as has been the case all year, Yiteng didn’t stop fighting. Against the run of play, Dori was looking for space when he fired a long shot that caught the post and went in. It was a spectacular, individual effort from Dori to create something out of nothing.

Changchun laid siege to the Harbin goal for the next 10 minutes, the best chance when an odd bounce fell to Rafael Coelho, giving him a one-on-one situation against the keeper, but he put it into the stands. Harbin went on the counter attack, and another long shot, this time from Ricardo Steel, beat the keeper, guaranteeing Yiteng it’s first CSL victory. Cue celebrations around the ground and probably across Harbin as the denizens of the Ice City could finally celebrate a win after 10 matches.

The celebrations may be short lived as the club still sits bottom of the table, five points away from a group of teams fighting to stay up. With the club able to stay at home for the first time this year, the excitement is sure to continue when Shanghai Shenhua travels north for their next home fixture in two weeks.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

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