A scrappy affair that saw six yellow cards and one sending off was won by a defensively solid Henan against Chongqing.
Both Henan and Chongqing opened the season to surprise wins against title contenders. Henan’s new Swedish forward Osman Sow scored on his debut and Henan proceeded to sit back defending against Shanghai SIPG for the 1-0 win. Henan’s pitch was in shambles and many accused them of parking the bus so the match was not easy viewing for the neutral. Chongqing meanwhile opened the season beating last year’s champions Guangzhou Evergrande with a thrilling 2-1 win. Chongqing’s Brazilian striker Fernandinho turned on the afterburners to score two beautiful goals.
The match started off with a few silly fouls and no cards shown as the referee tried to manage the match without breaking out colours. A card early on might have set up a more entertaining match than the game fans were left with.
The deadlock was broken early as Henan’s Danish captain headed in the only goal of the match. A very basic goal from a corner saw Eddi Gomes rise higher than anyone else and direct the ball into the net. A few minutes later Gomes almost had a second as a free kick found the defender with another chance to use his head.
CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 2
Chongqing Lifan: 0
Henan Jianye: 1
Eddi Gomes 21
It was clear from the first half Henan had a clear game plan. Maintain a solid defense while making the most of set pieces. Chongqing on the other hand seemed directionless. Fans cheered whenever Fernandinho touched the ball hoping for some of the speed and finishing he showed against Guangzhou Evergrande last round. The Brazilian however couldn’t get going in the first half.
Chongqing’s new manager Chang Woe-Ryong must of said the right things in the dressing room at the break though as his side came out attacking. A free kick was flicked on by Goran Milovic that found Feng Jin. The Chongqing native was able to get put a cross into Luo Qin, but unfortunately the defender couldn’t direct his header onto goal.
The yellows started flying as Henan sat back to absorb pressure and foul Chongqing’s Fernandinho. Henan’s Feng Zhouyi was shown a second yellow in the 84th minute for a foul on the speedy Brazilian and sent off. A scuffle broke out as tempers had finally boiled over.
In the last minute of stoppage time Chongqing substitute Jael smashed the bar with a long range effort which was their best effort. It’s clear Chongqing’s Korean manager needs to find a better game plan as any team that does their homework can tightly mark Fernandinho taking away their most explosive option. Henan may not play attractive football, but with two wins from two matches it does get results.
Both teams next play on April 2nd. Henan will travel up north to take on Liaoning while Chongqing will host Shanghai SIPG.
Henan: Deng Xiaofei, Goran Milovic, Luo Xin, Wang Dong, Xu Yang(86’ Sui Donglu), Wu Qing, Xu Xiaobo(56’ Wang Weicheng), Woo-Young Jung, Feng Jin, Emanuel Gigliotti(73’ Jael), Fernandinho
Chongqing: Wang Guoming, Ryan McGowan, Gu Cao, Feng Zhuoyi, Eddi Gomes, Mu Shantao, Ivo, Liang Yu(74’ Li Xiaoming), Yin Hongbo, Ablet Abduwal, Osman Sow(58’ Javier Patino)