Changchun Yatai suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to Nei Mongol Zhongyou at home, failing to win back-to-back games once again this season.
After suffering relegation in 2018, Changchun Yatai were expected to take the second tier by storm and put to bed any fears fans had over the club’s long-term future.
A strong opening day of the season filled many with hope that the team would come good and assert their dominance early, ensuring a fairly smooth campaign on route to a CSL return.
Now four games in, and the North-Eastern club is realising that things are not so simple in China League One – struggling to create some consistency.
Manager Chen Jingang will not survive the season if Changchun do not look to be on course for promotion and will need to ensure he rights the ship as quickly as possible.
Losing to Guizhou Hengfeng was to be expected, with Guizhou also a favourite for promotion, but the team’s 2-0 home loss to Nei Mongol is a result that should have fans seriously concerned.
Nei Mongol were promoted from China League Two this past season and had lost their opening two games of the season before securing a 2-0 win over Beijing Sports University.
Their first game of the season clearly inspired the team, seeing them keep Changchun’s attacking options such as Tan Long, Yang Chaosheng and Richairo Zivkovic, who was making his debut for the club, at bay.
In four games, the 2007 CSL Champions have two wins and two losses – seeing them slip to ninth in the second tier.
A victory for Changchun would have seen the team leap to the top of the table and even a draw would’ve kept Chen Jingang’s side amongst the upper echelons of the league.
A string of results must be put together if Changchun Yatai hope to get things back on track, with a narrow 1-0 victory over Nantong Zhiyun last week also providing some concerning viewing for fans.
With the likes of Yang, Tan, Zivkovic and Maurides available up front, the North-Eastern side should be competing for better at this level and need to start seeing results on the pitch.
It is still early in the season, so it may not be worth panicking about, but when the team is viewed as a favourite for promotion, expectations should unsurprisingly be high.