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Chinese Super League

Renewal of the rivalry as Beijing tops Tianjin

Beijing Guoan made it three straight victories, all by the scoreline of 1-0, Saturday night with an away win against Tianjin Teda. As fans and players of both clubs have become accustomed to, the match included a heightened physicality and post-match incidents of vandalism.

The key play of the match came in the opening minutes, a Guoan corner kick was headed by Peter Utaka into the path of Pablo Batalla, who headed it in. Batalla should have probably been adjudged offside, but the Tianjin players weren’t protesting and considering all the decisions that have gone against the Men in Green this season, it was good that one finally went their way.

Guoan was fortunate to have the lead because Utaka found new ways to waste opportunities with every touch of the ball. They were also fortunate to have Yang Zhi. Tianjin attacked through the highly skilled Carmelo Valencia, but Yang was up to the challenge, the hardest coming just before the hour mark when Valencia headed a good cross toward goal, Yang, demonstrating a bit of skill (and luck), got a hand on it, pushing it up and into the crossbar, where it bounced out and into play.


Beijing Guoan 1

Batalla 4′

Tianjin Teda 0

Attendance: 49,986

The Beijingers had to hold on tight and didn’t get much help from their depleted offense, but the CSL’s top defense was able to keep Teda at bay. After the match, both Guoan manager Gregorio Manzano and captain Xu Yunlong commented on the travel ban on away fans that has been in place since 2009, giving hope to the fans that the ban may be lifted. However, ugly post match incidents outside the Tianjin Olympic Center, including cars with Beijing license plates being severely damaged may have authorities thinking twice.

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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