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2021 Chinese Super League Week Three Round-Up – Group A

Chinese Super League

Week three of the 2021 Chinese Super League is over, so here is a full round-up of results from the Guangzhou-based Group A.

Henan Songshan Longmen 1-1 Shandong Taishan

After claiming victory in each of their opening matches, it was largely expected that Shandong Taishan would go three-for-three when taking on Henan Songshan Longmen – but that was not to be.

Despite being dominated in the possession game, it was Henan that opened the scoring in the first match of Group A’s week three ballot of fixtures, with Henrique Dourado netting in the 31st minute. Initially the Brazilian forward attempted a header from inside the Shandong box, seeing the ball drop to his feet after a deflection and coolly slot home.

The lead did not last long, however, as Shandong brought the score level after just ten minutes. Appeals for a penalty were ignored by the referee before a pass was brought back to an open Son Jun-ho, who lifted the ball up and into the roof of the net.

Neither side could break the other down and both shared the points.

Guangzhou 2-0 Shenzhen

After beginning the 2021 season in truly disappointing fashion, Guangzhou FC’s third match was a must-win affair and Fabio Cannavaro’s team duly delivered with a far more familiar performance.

Naturalised forward Ai Kesen opened the scoring for his side after 20 minutes on a wet evening at Guangzhou FC’s Tianhe Stadium. The eight-time CSL champions nearly scored eight minutes earlier when Zheng Zhi’s effort inside the penalty area just lifted over the crossbar.

Ai Kesen was on hand to tap the ball over the line after Ricardo Goulart’s header appeared close to settling on the goal line after Zhang Lu got a hand to the header. Shenzhen’s disappointment was increased when Ai Kesen deflected a ball off defender Yuan Mincheng, seeing the ball bounce over the goal line after Zhang Lu tried, in vain, to palm it away.

The victory ensured Guangzhou claimed three points for the first time this season, preventing them from suffering even more disappointment after a surprisingly slow start to the campaign.

Qingdao 0-1 Guangzhou City

In a match that saw both sides share a similar amount of chances, it took 80 minutes for either to break the deadlock – with the final result largely unsurprising.

Guangzhou City dominated possession throughout the match but looked as if they might drop points against a team largely expected to be competing around mid-table this season.

Tiago Leonço ensured that did not happen when he scored the only goal of the match in the 80th minute, keeping the blue half of Guangzhou’s impressive start to the 2021 season going.

Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic 2-2 Cangzhou Mighty Lions

The best word to describe this match would pendulum, as almost every facet appeared to swing one way or the other at various times throughout – with the final score coming thanks to both sides scoring twice unanswered.

Cangzhou, who dominated with 65% possession, took a 2-0 lead after less than 20 minutes thanks to goals from import players Stoppila Sunzu and André Senghor, before seeing Chongqing make a phenomenal comeback.

Chongqing dominated the chances and shots on target pendulum, doubling Cangzhou’s numbers in both categories, and by half time they had brought things level – with goals coming from Huang Xiyang and Yin Congyao.

Neither side could re-break the deadlock thereafter and the ‘home’ side finally claimed their first point of the season, while Cangzhou earned just their second.

James Reeve is a British sports writer and editor for Wild East Football. James is an avid fan of Changchun Yatai, having been a season-ticket holder in 2015, and has been involved with Wild East Football for a number of years.

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