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Changchun Yatai slip in promotion hunt after back-to-back losses

Changchun

Changchun Yatai were flying high just a few weeks ago, but back-to-back losses has seen their world come crashing down around them.

The North-Eastern side were top of China League One after a ten-game unbeaten run that saw the club pick up an impressive 24 points out of a possible 30.

Changchun had a two-week break after this run but have failed to get some momentum going, losing to both Shijiazhuang Ever Bright and Xinjiang Tianshan.

The Shijiazhuang defeat was difficult to take, with Svetozar Sapuric’s side on the back foot throughout the entire match.

The final score may have been 3-2, but the visitors never looked to have a real chance of tying things up.

Despite their long run of success ending, the club had another opportunity to get things going again with their game-in-hand match with Xinjiang Tianshan at home.

Torrid weather conditions made for a tough battle for both sides, but the visitors opened the scoring thanks to some shoddy defending from the Changchun backline.

The club managed to pull things level thanks to Sun Jie latching on to an error from Xinjiang’s goalkeeper, and it looked as if the two sides would end the game tied up at 1-1.

Then, Sun himself was adjudged to have fouled a Xinjiang player in the box in the 90th minute of the game, gifting the visitors an opportunity to take the lead, which they did.

Now, with back-to-back losses and no more game advantages, Changchun find their chances of achieving promotion growing slimmer.

They now sit fourth in China League One, just two points outside of second place, currently held by Qingdao Huanghai, but it will be a tough challenge to get back to where they were less than a month ago.

Changchun Yatai do face Qingdao in what could effectively decide their season on September 22nd, but a trip to ‘local’ rivals Liaoning will need to produce a positive result.

Changchun have truly dug themselves into a hole and every game from here on out must be viewed like a cup final, with another season in the second tier a travesty for the club.

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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