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Changchun Yatai maintain unbeaten run with another late winner

Changchun Yatai

Changchun Yatai continued their fight for promotion after a late goal from star striker Richairo Zivkovic earned the team a vital three points.

The away trip to Nantong Zhiyun saw Changchun leave with another three points after Zivkovic’s 96th-minute winner.

The Dutchman’s late striker saw the North-Eastern club extend their recent unbeaten run to six games, keeping them within touching distance of a promotion spot.

The game looked as if it would end in a draw, with the visitors having an earlier goal ruled after VAR review.

But in the 69th minute, the home side were down to ten men with defender Liu Wei being sent off – giving Changchun an edge that they worked hard to take advantage of.

But as has been common in recent years, Changchun fans were made to sweat until the very last moment.

While leaving it late to secure victory in back-to-back games, the resilience and determination of Changchun Yatai players will have fans hoping to see the side jump back into the top tier at the end of the season.

Changchun now find themselves sitting just four points behind second-placed Nei Mongol Zhongyou, five points behind league leaders Qingdao Huanghai and level on points with Guizhou Hengfeng.

The one-time CSL champions now face a crucial test again Nei Mongol next weekend, with a win putting Svetozar Sapuric’s side within just one point of the promotion places.

Changchun have put in some strong performances in recent weeks, putting them squarely in the promotion picture despite only being able to field one import player.

Zivkovic’s 11 goals in 14 league games has been a welcome sight for the side, with Jose Manuel Jurado departing for Cadiz this weekend while the future of Maurides appears to be elsewhere.

The club is still waiting for international clearance for Serbian striker Stefan Drazic and have just a few more days before the summer transfer window closes.

If Sapuric is able to bring in another player to help bolster his squad, it could make a promotion challenge even more realistic.

With just 12 more games left in the 2019 China League One season, Changchun Yatai will need to maintain this impressive run of form and take at least one point from their trip to Nei Mongol.

James Reeve is a British sports writer and the correspondent on Changchun Yatai for Wild East Football. James has followed the club since 2012, lived in the North-Eastern city between August 2013 and March 2018 and was a season ticket holder for the 2015 CSL campaign.

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