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League One Round 4 Wrap: Draws Galore as Dalian Move Clear at the Top

This weekend’s action featured five draws, Dalian Aerbin breaking away from the pack, super rich Hebei CFFC’s first win of the season and a repeat of 2014’s League Two final.

Dalian Aerbin 2-0 Hunan Billows

Headers from the Swedish pair of Mathias Ranegie and Nicklas Backman either side of half time were enough to give Dalian some daylight at the top of the League One table. Ranegie bagged his third goal of the season when he converted an Eddy Francois cross in the 38th minute and Backman doubled the lead by directing a Chen Hao free kick into the back of the net not long before the hour mark.

Victory put Aerbin two points clear of their nearest rivals while assuring that Billows manager Aleksander Stankov had a miserable return to the club he guided to the Super League in 2011.

Fruitless Struggle: Ai Zhibo (4) and Danko Lazovic battle to entertain fans

Fruitless Struggle: Ai Zhibo (4) and Danko Lazovic battle to entertain fans

Beijing BG 0-0 Wuhan Zall

Last season’s third and fourth placed sides played out a drab goalless draw in a the capital. With Zall’s ambition consisting of little more than putting bodies behind the ball, an uninspiring BG failed to do enough win the game and almost lost it in stoppage time when Wuhan’s Brice Jovial had a strong shout for a penalty turned down. While the visitors will be happy to have avoided defeat, the real losers are the supporters who had to endure this 90 minutes of dross.

Guizhou Zhicheng 1-1 Harbin Yiteng

The shock of the week came in Guiyang where a pair of penalties saw Zhicheng and Yiteng share the spoils. Last season, these teams were two divisions apart, but the home side gained the advantage in the twelfth minute when Iminjan Ilhamjan scored from the spot. That lead lasted until midway through the second half when Harbin’s Bu Xin netted his third penalty of the season to level the scores.

Having descended from last season’s Super League and started the season strongly, Harbin came into the game as heavy favourites. However, Zhicheng, who had just two weeks to prepare for life in League One, surprised their northeastern foes by putting up a strong fight. Yiteng remain unbeaten and Zhicheng remain winless, but it will be the Guiyang side who come away from this contest with their heads held high.

Jiangxi Liansheng 1-2 Hohhot Zhongyou

Happy Return: Wang Yunlong (7) tussles with his old team

Happy Return: Wang Yunlong (7) tussles with his old team

Zhongyou avenged their defeat in last year’s League Two final by coming from behind to defeat Liansheng. Huang Jiaqiang had given the home side the lead after just 12 minutes, but William levelled the scores in the 26th minute before giving Hohhot the victory with a penalty 10 minutes from time.

William’s brace marked his first goals for the club he signed for in the winter, while Wang Yunlong had a successful return to the ground where he won the League Two title last season. The 25-year-old winger, who had been on loan to Jiangxi from Wuhan Zall before making a permanent move to Hohhot in the winter, managed eight goals for Liansheng in 2014 and showed fans in Nanchang what they were missing by assisting William’s first strike and drawing the foul for the penalty.

The result means that Hohhot have now secured an impressive seven points in four away games, while Jiangxi remain rooted to the bottom of the table without a point to their name.

Beijing Institute of Technology 2-2 Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard

BIT and Xinjiang had to settle for a draw after a thrilling conclusion which saw two goals in the last five minutes. In two clashes last season these sides mustered eleven goals and so it was somewhat of a disappointment that the score sheet was still blank at the interval.

Fortunately, things picked up six minutes into the second half when Xinjiang’s Cristian Danalache scored his third of the season by reacting fastest to Felipe Ferro’s saved shot. The away side’s lead lasted just eight minutes as Andres Marquez also netted his third goal of the season with a header, and BIT looked to have won the game when Hu Ming struck in the 86th minute. However, it took just two minutes for Ferro to head his side back on to level terms and round out a thrilling second half.

Around 2500 fans turned out to watch BIT maintain their unbeaten record in 2015 and, although it doesn’t sound like a lot, this was a significant improvement on the season low 68 spectators who attended this fixture in 2014.

Ha Tae-goon celebrate Yanbian's return home with a goal

Ha Tae-goon celebrate Yanbian’s return home with a goal

Yanbian Changbaishan 1-1 Shenzhen FC

On the subject of attendances, nearly 15,000 supporters welcomed Yanbian and Shenzhen in the Korean Autonomous Prefecture’s first home game of 2015. South Korean forward Ha Tae-goon put the hosts in front after 34 minutes, but his side were pegged back just five minutes later thanks to a goal from Shenzhen’s Italian centre back Giuseppe Aquaro.

The outcome means that Yanbian, who would have been in League Two this season had various teams not folded, continue their remarkable unbeaten start to 2015. Conversely, Shenzhen, who were making their first away trip of the season, remain winless after settling for a third straight draw.

Qingdao Hainiu 0-1 Hebei CFFC

An 18th minute goal from Miroslav Radovic was enough to give Hebei their maiden win of the season against a lackluster Hainiu. Following two draws and a loss in three home games, CFFC went on the road for the first time in 2015 and were able to leave Shandong with all three points. For Hainiu fans, the wait for a first home victory since June continues.

Tianjin Songjiang 1-1 Qingdao Jonoon

A header from Liu Sheng deep into injury time gave Songjiang a point in their opening home game of the season. Wang Jun’s second penalty of the season had given Jonoon the lead in the 70th minute but Liu’s late heroics denied the visitors a second away win of the year.

Based in China for five years, Jamie has been exploring tiny little third tier Hubei cities without football teams or decent internet connections, but is now a regular at China League One side Wuhan Zall. A keen football afficionado, he regularly takes in the Chinese Super League, enjoying matches in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Nanjing. Jamie is also a keen observer of the fortunes of the Chinese National side.

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