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Shijiazhuang go top with victory over still winless Guangdong Sunray Cave

Shijiazhuang Yongchang produced a classic away performance, soaking up the Guangdong Sunray Cave attacks and hitting them on the break for their two goals to. In Feng Feng’s first match in charge Guangdong played with purpose but couldn’t take their chances against the Northerners who moved to the top of the China League One standings.

CHINA LEAGUE ONE ROUND 8

Shijiazhuang Yongchang 2 

Diego Giaretta 35′, Georgi Iliev 59′

Guangdong Sunray Cave 0

Only installed as coach in January, a clause in Julio Cesar Moreno’s contract allowed him to be sacked after his side failed to win in six games. Reserve coach Feng Feng was promoted to manage the main side but in his first home game in charge had defender Carlos Garcia missing through injury.

Guangdong started brightly though and Wang Guoming had to save from Petar Jelic’s header and watch in relief after Mahama Awal put his back post effort wide and Yang Bin’s freekick came back off the post.

Shijiazhuang were content to sit back and let their Brazilian striker Carlao link with Georgi Iliev on the break with the former having two headers saved. The opening goal came after Cantonese keeper Yu Yonngzhe fumbled a high ball to concede a corner and although he saved the initial headerhe was powerless to stop Diego Giaretta slamming home the rebound.

Mahama Awal on the attack for Guangdong Sunray Cave

Mahama Awal on the attack for Guangdong Sunray Cave

The goal came against the run of play and Sunray Cave almost capitalised on their pressure immediately after the break but Awal missed a good chance created by Jelic and sub Li Jian. It was hard to tell that sides are at opposite ends of China League One as Sunray Cave created enough opportunities to score but just couldn’t find the right finish.

Shijiazhuang doubled their lead after an hour when Carlao held up the ball and passed to Iliev to allow the Bulgarian to curl in a peach of an effort from just outside the area that was reminiscent of Zhao Xuri’s recent goal for Guangzhou Evergrande.

Sunray Cave weren’t done and Yang slid a low cross across the face of goal but yet again luck deserted them as both Awal and Li missed it when even a slight deflection would’ve brought them back into the contest. The final twenty minutes saw increasingly desperate attacks by the Cantonese with sub Li Jian coming to the fore. Shaijiazhuang’s Li Chao took exception to Li Jian’s attempts to reach a long ball and tried to pull off the dressing on the Sunray Cave man’s head (see image below) as the pair tangled. The referee waved play on and Li Jian got a big cheer from the Huangpu Stadium home support when he slyly hacked at Li Chao’s ankle as he ran back to midfield.

Li Jian

Li Jian (left)

It would be the twenty five Shijiazhuang fans cheering at the final whistle though as the win moved them to the top of the China League One table whilst Sunray Cave stay in the relegation zone ahead of what looks like an early season ‘six pointer’ away to Chengdu next week.

Donald began following Guangzhou R&F having moved to China in the same year that R&F moved to Guangzhou. The club's first foreign season ticket holder, Donald was able to watch three seasons at Yuexiushan before returning to the UK.

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