Two goals in three first half minutes from Jiang Ning on his return from suspension mean Guangzhou R&F go back to third in the CSL at the end of the first half of the season. Harbin didn’t lack for effort and created a few chances but if Aberazzak Hamdallah had remembered to pack his shooting boots the scoreline could’ve been very embarrassing for the Northerners.
CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 14
Harbin Yiteng 0
Guangzhou R&F 2
Jiang Ning 36’, 39’
After the 3-1 home defeat to Shandong, Sven Goran Erkisson dropped Zhang Yuan, for the first time since July 2013, and also Ken Ilso for Wang Xiaolong and Jiang Ning who was available after his suspension ended. Hosts Harbin were without Aussie Adam Hughes but were able to name Hong Kong international Fofo at centre back.
Guangzhou R&F showed no signs of tiredness following Thursday’s game and could’ve scored three times inside the opening ten minutes but Hamdallah hit the post, later blew a one-on-one chance and Jang Hyun-Soo also missed the target from inside the area. Harbin contributed fully to this opening harem-scarem period and Xu Dong’s cross hit crossbar. Han Xu would later see his strike from distance hit the side netting but the visitors had the bulk of the play and it only seemed a matter of time before they scored; Hamdallah delayed it by another miss when a cross dropped nicely for him.
The last time Jiang Ning played for R&F he was the villain as he was sent off for stamping on Wu Yuyin’s face but this time he played the hero with two quick goals. The first came from a low freekick curled around the wall before his second arrived moments later when Wang Jinping spilled Hamdallah’s cross for Jiang to tap in. Harbin immediately brought on Colombian Ricardo Steer to partner Dori in attack but it stayed 2-0 to the Cantonese at half time.
Guangzhou R&F CSL Clean Sheets
2014: 7 (from 14 games)
Hamdallah should’ve extended the lead just after the break but his lob landed on the roof of the net before he shot wide again minutes later. The Moroccan is third in the CSL goalscoring charts but missed yet another chance after he’d tricked his way through a crowd of defenders and around Wang. Thankfully for R&F, they weren’t made to pay for this profligacy as Dori missed Harbin’s best chance which arrived courtesy of a Zhang Yaokun error.Despite having less possession, Yiteng out-shot the Cantonese but keeper Cheng Yuelei was seldom troubled and was able to record his seventh clean sheet of the season, equalling the total for the whole of 2013.
Harbin still have one more game before the break, away to Shanghai East Asia, but barring a miraculous run of form in the their seven consecutive home fixtures when the CSL resumes, they seem set for a return to China League One. Guangzhou R&F, on the other hand, after coming through a very tough May sit third in the CSL and are serious contenders for ACL football next season.
Harbin Yiteng: 26 – Wang Jinping; 27 – Li Jian 4 – Wisdom Fofo Agbo 16 – Wang Dalong, 17 – Xu Dong; 7 – Li He, 6 – Han Xu, 20 – Han Deming (42 minutes 23 – Ricardo Steer ), 21 – Bu Xin; 33 – Rodrigo (C), 10 – Dori
Guangzhou R & F: 1 – Cheng Yuelei; 11 – Jiang Zhipeng 5 – Zhang Yaokun (C), 15 – Zhang Xianxiu 20 – Tang Miao; 21 – Chang Feiya (46 minutes 18 – Zhang Yuan), 36 – Zhu Baojie 10 – Davi, 19 – Wang Xiaolong (74 minutes 23 – Lu Lin); 7 – Jiang Ning, 9 – Abderazzak Hamdallah (91 minutes 33 – Li Yan)