China League One: The Rat Race for the Super League heats up!

It seemed like just a month or two ago that the Chinese football season kicked off and in no time we have seen two-thirds of the season go by in the blink of the eye. Here we take a look at the teams that have edged closer to the promised land of the Chinese Super League.

The last time we looked at the Chinese League One, we saw Dalian Yifang and Beijing Renhe occupying the top two spots. That has not changed with the passing of a further 10 match days. Beyond these two, there are three teams realistically in with a chance of making it into the top flight.

  1. Dalian Yifang – 20 games, 47 points

Dalian Yifang have all but secured themselves of a place in next season’s Super League with their rampaging form in the past 10 games. They are in top form having dropped just seven points from the last time we checked on them. The difference of 10 points with the third placed team with 10 games to go leaves little doubt that Yifang will be among the teams lining up next season alongside China’s elite.

Once you look beneath Yifang, is where you meet the real rat race. Two points separate 2nd placed side Beijing Renhe with 5th place side Shenzhen FC.

  1. Beijing Renhe – 20 games 38 points

The other Beijing is drawn right into the rat race having lost their way a bit. After a good start they have taken just 19 points from their last ten games and that has left them nine points adrift of champions-elect Dalian. Too many draws have hurt their chances of securing the China League One.

  1. Shijiazhuang Ever Bright – 20 games, 37 points

After being nowhere near the promotion talk, Shijiazhuang have played themselves into contention and currently lie just a point off the second promotion spot. After 10 games, they sat eighth with 14 points but have turned their season around and have 23 points from their last 10 games and are one of the in-form sides in the league. They have momentum on their side and will hope to get into the second position sooner rather later, capitalising on any points dropped by the team just above them.

  1. Qingdao Huanghai – 20 games, 36 points

Qingdao have moved up the league since we last visited League One. Rakic is in good goal scoring form having scored seven goals in his last 10 matches. He will have to continue his good form to give Qingdao any hope of overhauling the teams above them and securing one of the promotion places.

  1. Shenzhen FC – 20 games, 36 points

Shenzhen are locked on points with Qingdao with only a superior head to head record separating the two sides. They have changed their manager to keep themselves in the race for the top two. Despite being just two points off the promotion places, their form and style of play suggest that they are some distance away from reaching the Super League.

In the other side of the table, Baoding look set to go back to where they came from. They sit in 16th place, as they have done so since matchday 11th. Seemingly set to join them is 15th place Yunnan Lijiang. They both are favorites to play in the China League Two.

We’ll review the season of China League One once the 30 games are done and dusted.