Beijing Guoan’s bad luck in Shanghai so far this season continued on Saturday night after dropping three points to struggling Shanghai Shenxin. In the rain and muck of Jinshan Stadium, all three goals came from corner kicks, with Shenxin scoring in the opening minutes of both halves to secure the win.
CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 12
Shanghai Shenxin 2
Johnny 6′, Lim 47′
Beijing Guoan 1
Zhang Chengdong 32′
The first goal came before many of the 6,000 fans in attendance even made it to their seats, as only six minutes into the match a Shenxin corner kick saw defender Johnny beat Yu Yang to the ball and head it in. Unfortunately for Guoan, this would become the story of the match. Less than two minutes into the second half, Korean midfielder Lim You-Hwan was a step ahead of Yu and scored.
Guoan got the one goal that fans have gotten used to, just past the half hour mark, Zhang Xiaobin played a ball into the box and an unmarked Zhang Chengdong came from nowhere to get to the ball before the unsuspecting defender. It was a pretty goal and once again Zhang was far and away Guoan’s Man of the Match, the only one able to create anything.
That is because Johnny didn’t only create goals, he had a stellar game in defense, tightly marking Joffre Guerron and then Peter Utaka, making sure that they always got their ball with their back to the goal and that they didn’t get very far. In line with what fans have come to expect this year, Guoan controlled the ball for the last half hour of the match, but whenever they got close to the goal, they couldn’t create any real opportunities. In a sad twist of fate, one of the best crosses of the night came from keeper Yang Zhi, who came all the way up for a last ditch corner kick.
For the second time this season, Guoan travelled to Shanghai with high hopes and flying high in the table and left stunned and beaten. It’s also the first time since Shenxin was promoted to the CSL in 2010 that they’ve defeated Beijing. The knives are starting to sharpen, if Gregorio Manzano can’t turn things around soon, he may not make it through the season.