Shenzhen had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Beijing Institute of Technology on Saturday night in a match ruined by controversy.
CHINA LEAGUE ONE ROUND 3
Shenzhen FC 1
Fei Yu 49′
Beijing Institute of Technology 1
Andres Marquez 85′
The match started out with a Shenzhen putting in a good attacking effort. Beijing hit on the counter attack often and the first twenty minutes were entertaining for both teams fans. The supporters from the Shenzhen satellite school of Beijing Institute of Technology stayed vocal and encouraging for their team throughout competition.
The match got ugly though when the referee failed to set any consistency with calling fouls. Soon enough players on both sides were flying in for challenges and getting away without a card.
Shenzhen took the lead in the 49th minute after a failed clearance by the Beijing defence fell to Fei Yu outside the area. The former Shanghai Shenhua midfielder made no mistake putting the ball into the top corner to give Shenzhen a 1-0 lead. The Beijing players immediately rushed to the referee to protest contact in the penalty area. The referee waved off any suggestion, but clearly was losing control of the match. The half time whistle seemed to be a welcome relief.
In the second half both sides seemed more intent on kicking each other than the ball. Cards were shown, but the players did not care what the referee had to say and would walk off after the foul. With his whistle constantly on his lips the referee broke up any hope of fluid play. Uruguayan Andres Marquez was able to inject a little excitement back into the match when he took a shot from 20 yards out. The dipping shot forced a good jumping outstretched save from Shenzhen’s number 1, Niu Ben.
The big event took place in the 85th minute when a penalty was award for Beijing Institute of Technology. A corner was sent in and the referee awarded a penalty despite minimal contact. Shenzhen’s prolific striker Babacar Gueye rushed over to the linesman who had a clearer view. Even he was confused and made an effort to approach the referee to ask why a penalty had been awarded.
Refusing to explain himself the referee waved off the linesman which caused one of the Shenzhen coaches to run around the pitch to behind the net where he made his opinion known. Marquez stepped up for Beijing and calmly slotted into the bottom of the net.
Some last ditch efforts by Shenzhen could not change the result and a 1-1 draw left both teams frustrated with the poor officiating. After the final whistle the same member of the Shenzhen coaching staff rushed the pitch to confront the referee and had to be taken away by his team.
With chants of 黑哨 hei shao (black whistle) echoing around the stadium the referee made his escape down the portable tunnel, his only protection from the bottles being thrown from the crowd.
A lot has been done to clean up corruption in Chinese football, but Saturday night was a reminder that the shadow still looms over the minds of football fans in China.
One positive was that both sides fans did not feel the need to be violent against each other. They walked out together under the eclipse and went home disappointed in one man ruining the match for all.