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CSL Round 25 Wrap: Controversy in Canton while in the northeast Harbin won’t die

We’re now done to the final part of the season after this weekend, but what a way to lead into those final five matches. League leaders Evergrande pulled out an amazing last minute last second last kick victory against Shenxin in controversial fashion while chasing side Beijing Guoan won their local derby over Tianjin thanks to a Swedish treat. Guangzhou R&F solidified their hold on third place with a win over Shanghai East Asia thanks to a late goal and at the bottom of the table, Harbin made things tighter while Liaoning put some space between themselves and the bottom two.

Dalian Aerbin 1-3 Shandong Luneng
It was all Shandong in the first half with McGowan scoring in the 5th and Aloisio adding another in the 20th minute. Just to put the game completely out of reach, Shandong added a third in the last 10 minutes, a late Aerbin goal couldn’t serve as much consolation as Dalian struggles to remain in the top flight.

Beijing Guoan 2-1 Tianjin Teda

Derby day in Beijing and 47,000 strong came out to watch Guoan come back to beat their “local” rivals. Tianjin opened scoring against the run of play off a beautifully taken Andrezinho free kick. However, moments later Guoan went down the pitch and Zhang Xizhe set up Erton Fejzullahu for the equalizer. It was a stunning turn of events and Gongti was rocking. Yang Zhi’s quick thinking and venture past the midfield line got the crowd even more excited, though fortunately it didn’t turn into a disaster. With less than 20 minutes to go, Zhou Ting set up Erton for his second of the match and the end to a great night. Guoan fans let the stadium chanting “Evergrande lost”, but of course that match started a half hour later and….

Guangzhou Evergrande 2-1 Shanghai Shenxin
Nobody expected Shenxin to stay in this match, but much like earlier in the season at Shanghai, the struggling side made things interesting against the champions. It was certainly a shock when Shenxin got on the board first, with Everton scoring for them shortly after the hour mark. Fifteen minutes Shenxin should have been able to add a second when Zeng Cheng took down Jailton Paraiba in the box, but the referee oddly gave the Brazilian a yellow for simulation, his second, leaving Shenxin with 10 men for the final 15 minutes. As can be expected, Evergrande capitalized, Gao Lin heading home a cross in the 82nd minute. Yu Hanchao put away the winner in the final seconds of added time to keep the Guangzhou side’s lead at six.

Shanghai Shenhua 1-0 Guizhou Renhe
Despite being a game tending towards the dead rubber category, Shanghai Shenhua and Guizhou Renhe served up a surprisingly entertaining affair at Hongkou Stadium. There was only one goal in it however and that came in the 22nd minute when Cao Yunding’s exquisite through ball put Henrique though one-on-one with Guizhou keeper Zhang Lie. The Brazilian skipped effortlessly past the custodian to tap the ball into the empty net. Guizhou’s chances were many but they could only muster 3 shots on target all game. The result means that, with five games left, both clubs’ CSL campaigns are effectively over for another season.

Changchun Yatai 0-2 Harbin Yiteng
Harbin needed all three points out of this “northeastern derby” if they wanted to maintain their hopes of staying in the CSL and for the second time this season they defeated Changchun. The visitors jumped to an early lead in the 4th minute, then got a little help from the posts 10 minutes later as they kept a Changchun shot out. It would become a theme in this one. Just before the half ended, Harbin added a second and it was all they needed as they moved up to four points from survival.

Shanghai East Asia 1-2 Guangzhou R&F
The red side of Shanghai has struggled all season against stronger opposition and in this crucial match in deciding the final Asian spot, the home side fell once again. The home side wasn’t without chances, but Lu Lin’s perfectly placed shot in the 26th minute opened up scoring for Guangzhou. It was a matter of follow the bouncy ball in the 60th minute when ultimately Hysen knocked it past the keeper for an important equalizer, but R&F wouldn’t be denied, scoring on a corner kick in the 77th minute. The win gives Guangzhou a six point lead over Shanghai and Shandong, it looks like both Canton sides will be in the ACL next year.

Henan Jianye 1-1 Jiangsu Sainty
It only took Henan three minutes to open up scoring in this one, but the side struggling to stay up proved why it’s been so difficult for them, ultimately giving up a goal in the second half, Wu Xi’s play having a lot to do with the creation of the equalizer.

Hangzhou Greentown 3-4 Liaoning Whowin
A seven goal thriller in Hangzhou as the two sides battle to avoid relegation. The visitors were hot from the start, jumping out to a three goal lead, only to see Hangzhou get one back just before the end of the first half. On the other side of the half, Hangzhou equalized with two goals before the hour mark, but Liaoning was able to find a winner in the 68th minute, thanks to the second from forward Zhang Ye, who formerly played for Hangzhou.

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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