Another disappointing week in the Super League for the north-eastern sides with only two of the teams managing to pick up a point in this round of matches. League One saw Yifang continue their good form while Transcendence faced a tough match against the nouveau riche league leaders.
Liaoning Whowin 2-2 Tianjin Teda
Liaoning threw away a first half lead to take away just one point as they hosted Tianjin Teda in Shenyang.
Liaoning started the brighter of the two teams, pushing forward in the opening stages with Toure causing some problems for Tianjin. His first major contribution wasn’t so positive though when he handled the ball inside the box after a corner. Montero stepped up and converted to put Teda ahead after just 12 minutes. Liaoning kept pushing and were denied further on the half after a brilliant triple save from Yang Qipeng. His first was an acrobatic effort to beat away a free kick with two more follow up saves to keep out a double effort from Thwaite. Moments later he was called upon again when Chamanga broke away on the right and managed to get an effort on target after hesitating on the edge of the area. Liaoning were rewarded for their persistence when they were awarded a penalty five minutes before the break. Zainadine Junior went down in the box and handled the ball in what appeared to be an accident, but the penalty was awarded anyway. Chamanga rolled the ball into the bottom right corner to level up the score. Teda goalkeeper Yang Qipeng made yet another wonderful save to deny Whowin but moments later he couldn’t keep out Toure’s header which hit the back of the net after deflecting off of Li Benjian. Whowin went into the break 2-1 up and looking fairly good for their lead.
The second half started off a bit quieter with neither team threatening in the first quarter hour. Tianjin adopted a more attacking approach when they took off Zainadine Junior and brought on Diagne. His presence definitely gave Tianjin that forward looking dimension they needed to get back in the game but it was fellow substitute Cao Yang that eventually found a way through and got the equalizer. After the ball came in from a corner, Diagne’s attempted overhead kick saw the ball fall to Cao who only had to step forward and put it into the back of the net from just a few yards out. Whowin had lost the momentum from the first half and Tianjin were taking advantage, pushing forward and throwing in chances wherever they could. Another great chance came for them when Diagne’s clever backheel found Montero who couldn’t take advantage and smashed his shot straight over the bar. They couldn’t find a way through though and the game ended 2-2.
Whowin have now gone four games without a win so it seems vitally important that they hold on to leads when they have them. Ma Lin said he was satisfied with his team’s performance but was disappointed that they couldn’t keep up the first half’s rhythm throughout the whole game. He also mentioned that the game was a valuable experience for the younger players and he believes it will enable them to improve and grow in the future. They travel to Beijing next week to take on Guoan.
Chongqing Lifan 1-1 Changchun Yatai
Changchun extended their winless run to five games since the start of the season after securing a draw against Chongqing Lifan. A Moreno penalty helped Yatai on their way to sharing the spoils.
Changchun had an early chance to take the lead when Du Zhenyu fired a shot in only to see it go wide of the left post. It was Lifan who drew first blood though when Gigliotti found the back of the net with a powerful finish from the edge of the area. Wu Yake got a hand to it but it was far too powerful for the Yatai keeper to palm away. Chances were few and far between but Yatai were handed an opportunity to grab an equalizer when Xu Xiaobo clattered into Du Zhenyu inside the area. A penalty was awarded and after a stuttering run-up Moreno sent Deng Xiaofei the wrong way to level up the score.
The second half had barely begun before Moreno had an opportunity to give the visitors the lead. The Chongqing defense couldn’t deal with a long ball from midfield and allowed Moreno to break through but his finish was lacking and the ball went well high. Minutes later it was Yan Feng’s turn to try on goal, however his shot from outside the area was well saved by Deng Xiaofei. The hosts weren’t without their chances, Yang Xu and Liu Weidong both coming close to grabbing the winner. The score stayed at 1-1 though when the referee blew the final whistle.
Changchun may have extended their winless run but they can take some positives from this game. Aside from a moment of magic from Gigiliotti, the Changchun defense held up a lot better in this match than what we’ve seen in previous encounters. They weren’t lacking in creating chances either, but coach Stojanovic will be concerned with the quality of finishing. They return home to take on Shanghai SIPG next week.
Shandong Luneng 3-1 Yanbian Fude
Some costly mistakes saw Yanbian suffer a 3-1 away defeat in Shandong. Jiang Hongqun bore the responsibility for two of the goals while Yoon Bit-garam got a consolation goal from his fantastic free kick.
Yanbian started brightly and might have got the first goal within the first 10 seconds when Gil’s mistake saw the ball find Ha Tae-goon, but his attempted finish wasn’t good enough and went well above the bar. A few minutes later he actually had the ball in the net after a free kick but it was disallowed when the linesman found him to be marginally offside. The first goal came through a penalty after Jiang Hongquan brought down Aloisio just inside the area. Aloisio blasted the ball into the bottom right corner to put the hosts 1-0 up. He came close further on the half when Yang Xu found him in the box but couldn’t score after his effort was cleared by the Fude defense. The first half ended with Luneng looking very much on top of the contest.
The second half got off to the perfect start for Yanbian when Yoon Bit-garam found the back of the net from his fantastic free kick that put Wang Dalei at full stretch. They pushed to keep on top of the game but were undone by two mistakes in the 75th minute. Cui Min lost possession on the right flank allowing Montillo to break free into acres of space. His cross attempted to find Tardelli but was put into the net by Yanbian defender Jiang Hongqun. The right back looked disappointed after now being the sole cause for both of Luneng’s goals. Shandong got their third just minutes later when Tardelli rushed down the right on the break and took advantage of Fude’s out of shape defense, whipping in a cross for substitute Liu Binbin to put into the net. Yanbian looked completely out of it and almost gifted another goal to Luneng when goalkeeper Chi Wenyi tried to return Wu Yongchun’s backpass, only to hit it straight to the onrushing Yang Xu who couldn’t quite find the finish after the ball bounced off his knee.
A disappointing performance from Yanbian overall, they didn’t quite play the game they have been playing so well over the past few matches. Luneng represent difficult opponents but, as we’ve seen before, Fude have the quality to overcome such teams. Yanbian manager Park Tae-ha said in his post-match comments that his team were undone by their own mistakes and will look to put this match behind them. He said it’s important to now focus on preparing for their next match, a home game against Henan Construction.
Dalian Yifang grabbed a 2-0 win against Nei Mongol Zhongyou to fire them up into second place and keep their guests rock bottom of the league. Goals from captain Cao Xuan and Li Zhendong gave them the victory and they’ll hope to continue their good form when they take on Shenzhen next week.
Dalian Transcendence once again fell to another 2-0 defeat in the league, this time at the hands of league leaders Tianjin Quanjian. A Jadson brace secured three points for the league-leading hosts and leaves Transcendence third from bottom in the league. They host Guizhou Hengfeng in Dalian next week.