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Guangzhou R&F beat Jiangsu in frantic finish at Yuexiushan

Eleilson’s own goal gave Guangzhou R&F a 2-0 lead with half an hour left but Jiangsu’s Brazilian centre back went from zero to hero with a 95th minute equaliser before immediately going back to zero as part of a defence that allowed Wang Xiaolong and Abderazzak Hamdallah to claw back the three points for the Cantonese.

CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 15

Guangzhou R&F 3
Zhang Yuan 32′, Eleilson (OG) ’57, Abderazzak Hamdallah ‘96

Jiangsu Sainty 2
Sun Ke 66’, Eleilson ‘95

With midfielder Davi out, Sven switched to a 4-4-2 formation and gave new signing Aaron Olanare his debut partnering Hamdallah in attack. Having sold Damjanovic, Jiangsu had Elias as a lone striker and Roda Antar keeping things moving in a packed midfield.

The better of the early chances fell Jiangsu’s way but after arriving late into the box Wu Xi couldn’t test Cheng Yuelei in the R&F goal and Cheng saved well from Tao Yuan after that latter had been set up one-on-one with Cheng.

The hosts were clearly missing Davi but almost took the lead when Jiang Ning’s header glanced over the bar and would do so after half an hour. Olanare burst down the left wing, out-muscled Liu Jianye and sent over a low cross that Hamdallah barely touched which allowed Zhang Yuan to sweep into an open goal.

Despite having Elias well marshalled by their pair of centre backs, the blue and whites had been pushed back by the visitors for whom Tao Yuan was frequently involved on the left. Sun Ke on the right was the Nanjinger’s best player though and with half time approaching his header beat Cheng but came back of the bar.

Immediately after the restart, Hamdallah twice did the hard part of slipping the attentions of seemingly ever present Eleilson to get himself one-on-one with keeper Deng Xiaofei but first hit the post before minutes later toe-poking wide. A rare set piece goal for the blue and whites followed this period of pressure as Zhang Yaokun headed a free kick back across the box which caused teammates Eleilson and Li Ang to collide as the former sliced into his own goal.

Zhang Yuan celebrates his 9th goal in 70 appearances for Guangzhou R&F

Zhang Yuan celebrates his 9th goal in 70 appearances for Guangzhou R&F

The Cantonese now had a two goal cushion but Jiangsu would get a lucky break of their own to halve the deficit ten minutes later. Park Jong-Woo tackled Sun Ke but the ball fell kindly for Deng Zhuoxiang and the sub chipped through for Sun who controlled the ball beautifully and beat Cheng at his near post.

Jiangsu pushed further forward as they looked for an equaliser but their high defensive line was broken on several occasions by R&F. First Olonare elected to shoot himself rather than pass to an unmarked Hamdallah, the Moroccan himself then missed another chance before sub Wang Xiaolong raced clear from half way but didn’t even test Deng as he waited too long and was tackled.

Still, with only four minutes of stoppage time to go the game looked set for a 2-1 win if the blue and whites could just keep Sun Ke quiet but instead it turned out to be the most exciting finish at Yuexiushan for years. A combination of Tang Miao cramping up leaving winger Chang Feiya to cover right back, poor communication between Cheng and Jang Hyun-Soo and suspect decision making by the pair of them allowed the giant Eleilson to complete his redemption by scoring the equaliser.

Or so he thought. Whilst Cheng and Jang were arguing with each other, only Wang Xiaolong and Hamdallah seemed to have any energy left as they rushed to get the game restarted; luckily for them the same was true of Jiangsu. The Nanjinger’s defence allowed Wang to run all the way to the left of the penalty area and cross for Hamdallah who nutmegged Deng to send Yuexiushan delirious with joy.

Guangzhou R & F: 1 – Cheng Yuelei; 20 – Tang Miao 15 – Jang Hyun-Soo 5 – Zhang Yaokun, 11 – Jiang Zhipeng; 7 – Jiang Ning, 8 – Park Zhong-Woo (87 minutes 33 – Li Yan), 36 – Zhu Baojie 8 – Zhang Yuan (82 minutes 21 – Chang Feiya); 9 – Abderazzak Hamdallah, 25 – Aaron Olanare (79 minutes 19 – Wang Xiaolong)

Jiangsu Sainty: 1 – Deng Xiaofei; 22 – Wu Xi (70 minutes 7 – Zhang Xinlin), 3 – Eleilson 2 – Li Ang, 23 – Ren Hang; 13 – Tao Yuan (45 minutes 16 – Deng Zhuoxiang), 37 – Yang Hao, 6 – Roda Antar (60 minutes 5 – Zhou Yun), 8 – Liu Jianye, 20 – Sun Ke; 11 – Elias

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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