Hebei China Fortune beat Henan Jiaye on Friday night in a thrilling match that saw seven goals. The 4-3 score line was a good representation of an entertaining night with each side giving their all until the final whistle.
Chinese Super League Round 8
Hebei China Fortune 4
Dong Xuesheng 23, 31
Gael Kakuta 76
Henan Jiaye 3
Li Xiaoming 4
Chen Hao 73
Yin Hongbo 84
Hebei were coming off an away win to Liaoning and had the chance to jump over Henan in the table for fourth spot. Henan’s last match was a hard fought 1-0 win at home against Hangzhou.
The match did not start off promising as Henan had their typical defensive mind set with a starting line up featuring five defenders.
Surprisingly Henan scored a quick goal in the fourth minute from a throw in. Danish captain Eddi Gomez had a towel on the sidelines to wipe the ball dry. It proved to be effective as his long throw met the head of Hebei midfielder Jia Xiaochen who could only clumsily head behind himself where Li Xiaoming headed home. The young Shanghai native is on loan from Shenhua and it was his first ever Chinese Super League goal.
The goal seemed to wake Hebei up though as the Qinhuangdao side began dominating possession. Their hard work paid off in the 23rd minute as a string of nice passes between Ezequiel Lavezzi and Jiang Ning saw Dong Xuesheng find the back of the net. Hebei manager Li Tie will be happy with the build up his side was able to create.
Dong Xuesheng managed to get a brace in the 32nd minute as big summer signing Gervinho danced around two Henan defenders before finding the former Guangzhou Evergrande striker at the top of the box. Dong did not disappoint as a slight deflection saw Hebei take the lead.
Gervinho went from creator to scorer in the 34th minute with a wonder goal. The African Cup of Nations winner sprinted more than half the pitch losing Eddi Gomez as well as Mu Shantou before chipping Wang Guoming. The goal will surely be seen a lot over the next couple of days and will definitely make a few highlight reels.
The next few minutes saw Henan lost for what to do. This season has seen Henan grab leads early only to sit back defending until 90 minutes are up. Being two goals down seemed like too big a challenge for them. In the second half Henan went as far as double marking Gervinho in an attempt to shut him down.
Luckily for Henan a dead ball situation saw them get a life line back into the match. In the 73rd minute Ivo took the free kick putting the ball into the box for Chen Hao to get a slight header to make it 3-2.
Henan’s confidence was cut short though as Li Xiaoming tripped over his own feet to leave substitute Gael Kakuta alone on goal. Wang Guoming sadly was chipped for a second time and Hebei looked as if they had grabbed all 3 points.
The goals were not over however as Yin Hongbo met a cross by Osman Sow. The Henan midfielder was unmarked at the top of the box and smashed home to give Henan some hope of a draw.
The goals stopped with seven and Hebei fans will be disappointed Gervinho did not manage to make more of his 91st minute two on one break away. He only had Henan captain Eddi Gomez to beat, but the massive Dane stuck a foot out to stop a pass that surely would have made it a remarkable eight goals.
Li Tie will be the happier of the two managers. His side capitalised on their chances and played as a cohesive unit. They never gave up and played until the full 90 minutes were up.
Hebei next go down south to take on reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC while Henan will head home to host Tianjin Teda.