A winner in this match would jump from mid table to 3rd in League 1 and keep up with the early pace setters, Dalian Yifang and Beijing Renhe.
Both sides had shown indifferent form of late and even Qingdao Huanghai’s recent 4-0 win over an unnecessarily youthful Hangzhou was to be taken with a pinch of salt.
CHINESE LEAGUE ONE
Shanghai Shenxin 3
Biro Biro 3
Gu Bin 8,
Qingdao Huanghai 0
Shanghai Shenxin took just 3 minutes to mark their intention to move up the table after Liu Peng’s soft attempt to parry an early shot created havoc in the box and allowed Brazilian Biro Biro to slot home via the near post.
Minutes later, Huanghai’s Spanish centre back, Crespi was somewhat harshly adjudged to have brought down an advancing Biro Biro on the edge of the box.
The resulting free kick from Gu Bin was straight into the top right corner and Liu Peng merely flapped at it while watching the post rather than the ball sailing into his net. 2-0 to Shenxin after 8 minutes and a rout looked imminent, especially if Liu was going to have another 80 odd minutes in a similar vein of form.
Shenxin continued to create solid chances, with Gu Bin going closest, sending a shot from outside the box inches wide on 21 minutes.
Huanghai clawed their way back into the game after the disastrous start and their Hong Kong International Karikari thought he had equalized after the half hour mark. Kakari despatched a close range header past ‘keeper, Guo Wei but he was correctly flagged for offside and had his celebration abruptly cut short.
Karikari continued to be the wide target for Huanghai, but even after switching wings, he was far too often caught offside breaking early as delivery came from midfield.
At half time Shenxin would have been content, despite having chances to be further ahead. However for the Qingdao side, their chances had barely threatened and that worried manager Jordi Vinyals enough to make a double substitution at the break.
It had immediate effect and for the next quarter of the match, Huanghai pushed high onto the wings pushing crosses into the box and forcing corners seemingly at will. Shenxin’s defence was rarely beaten in the air and absorbed the pressure for the majority of the half.
During this period of pressure, whenever Guo had the ball safely in his hands, he quickly bypassed the defense and midfield to hit the classy pairing of Cleiton and Biro Biro, who seemed to be having a game of their own on the other side of the pitch. It was a ploy that provided Shenxin with some dangerous movement’s on the break, but often returned possession quickly to a grateful Huanghai.
Perhaps the best Huanghai chance was spoiled on 86 minutes when Spanish midfielder Joan Verdu put his open header wide from 6 yards in front of the despairing away bay.
To put the icing on the cake in the 89th minute, Biro Biro took on his defender on the byline cut in and played the ball to his advancing countryman, Cleiton who placed the ball around Liu for Shenxin’s 3rd.
It was a harsh blow for Huanghai, who had enough dangerous possession, often resulting in crosses and corners, but were unable to convert that into meaningful attempts on target.
With the final play of the match and as if to completely sum it up, Hunghai had the keeper stranded and an empty net but could only create a scramble in the box eventually to be cleared by Shenxin’s resolute defence.
Shenxin move up to 3rd on the table and will face a much tougher test next up, away to league leaders Dalian Yiteng on Sunday.