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CSL Round 18 Wrap: Guoan conquers Hongkou while Changchun two for two against Evergrande

This week saw a number of surprises as Beijing Guoan won at Hongkou for the first time ever in impressive fashion. In Changchun, a late winner saw Yatai take down the champions for the second time this season, while back home in Guangzhou, R&F struggled against Shenxin, blowing their chance to make it a three team race for the title.

Shandong Luneng 2-2 Tianjin Teda

Tianjin absolutely dominated the first half, scoring twice, but the visitors could have had two or three more if not for the great play of Wang Dalei. Shandong woke up and had a much better second half, pulling one back early one, but a 90th minute equalizer from Vagner Love meant that his manager, and fellow Brazilian, Cuca gets to keep his job for another couple days.

Shanghai Shenhua 0-3 Beijing Guoan

Finally! The curse of Hongkou was removed in dramatic fashion as Guoan crushed Shenhua 3-0, having dominated the match. The first half remained 0-0 despite a number of chances for Guoan leading to plenty of nerves that once again Shenhua would find a way to win, but it wouldn’t be like that. Dejan Damjanovic and Chen Zhizhao contributed goals, with Piao Cheng adding insult to injury with a third in the final minutes (his second goal in as many matches). Shenhua fans will complain about the referee, but he wasn’t why they lost and Guoan has their own reasons to be unhappy about some of the decisions. It was an amazing night for Guoan’s travelling support, who took over Hongkou and created much of the noise on the night.

Dalian Aerbin 1-1 Henan Jianye

Dalian have turned into a selling side, but they declared Yu Dabao as their only player not for sale and his performances show why. He opened the scoring in this match in the 10th minute and it almost looked like it would be enough to let Aerbin squeak through with all three points, but a Henan equalizer around the hour left both sides with a point as they struggle to stay up.

Changchun Yatai 2-1 Guangzhou Evergrande

If there’s one side that has had Evergrande’s number over these years, its Changchun. Two seasons ago they ended the Guangzhou’s undefeated run, this season they beat them early on at Tianhe, though couldn’t follow it up with much. However, resurgent after the break, Changchun earned yet another victory over the three time league champions. A beautiful free kick goal in the 3rd minute opened up the scoring for Changchun, who then followed it up with a handful of chances. Gilardino scored his first league goal for Evergrande just past the half hour mark. Yet Changchun didn’t give up and it was the northeastern side, taking a page from Evergrande’s book, that found a late winner, with Szabolcs Huszti securing all three points in the 81st minute. Ladies and gentlemen, we now have ourselves a serious title race.

Guangzhou R&F 0-1 Shanghai Shenxin

Travelling south has been good for Peter Utaka. Despite looking like he’d completely lost his scoring touch while playing for Beijing, Utaka’s move to Shanghai has seen him score twice in two appearances with the side, moving them slowly up the table. For R&F, who pulled within four points of second play a week ago, the dropped points will be especially painful.

Guizhou Renhe 1-0 Liaoning Whowin

Liaoning has had a tough season and seems to find new ways to drop points each week. This time around the match looked like it would end all square at zero, but a late long ball into the box was headed in by Yu Hai to give Guizhou all three points and push Liaoning into a relegation spot.

Shanghai East Asia 2-1 Hangzhou Greentown

The Wu Lei and Hysen show, otherwise known as Shanghai East Asia, kept rolling as they each contributed a goal to the victory. Hangzhou got one back late but it wouldn’t be enough as East Asia just keeps winning.

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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