Changchun Yatai required penalties to help see them through to the fifth round of the 2019 Chinese FA Cup.
The second tier strugglers edged victory over third tier Sichuan Jiuniu this week thanks to a 5-4 penalty shootout – with the score tied at 0-0 after 90 minutes and extra time.
Changchun manager Chen Jingang fielded a heavily changed side from the club’s 4-1 league loss to Beijing BSU – seeing a number of reserve and fringe players awarded opportunities in the cup.
Wu Yake returned between the sticks, having been a regular feature for the club’s first team over the previous few seasons.
Yang Chaosheng also featured from the bench, but was unable to help break the deadlock before the North Eastern club secured the narrow victory.
The Chinese FA Cup has long been a competition seemingly overlooked by Changchun Yatai, with the club regularly using it to play fringe players – with the league being the club’s top priority.
Now, however, Changchun travel to Chinese Super League high flyers Beijing Guoan Sinobo in the fifth round of the competition – a match that fans would love to see the team make a real effort in.
If the club could pull off the biggest of upsets, it could see them rewarded with additional revenue and help to buoy fan spirits, with the majority of the 2019 season having been quite disappointing to date.
In a unique twist of fate, the city of Changchun will actually have two clubs represented in the fifth round of the competition – something that has not happened previously.
Jilin Baijia, who entered China League Two last season, currently play in Yatai’s old Development Area Stadium and will now travel to face Shanghai SIPG in the fifth round.
The second club in Changchun is still fairly new by comparison, but to see both reach the fifth round of the competition is a good development for the future of football in the city – with Yatai still currently constructing a new large training complex.
The low scoreline will have disappointed Changchun Yatai fans against third tier opposition, but having a trip to Beijing to look forward to may satisfy some – with the team’s league performances the true focus.
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