CSL Roundup: Evergrande open up a gap while CL race tightens

Before the round, we described it as a big match day for those fighting for Champions League spots, and for the title race. While the weekend wasn’t decisive it did give us some interesting results.

At the top of the table, Guangzhou Evergrande faced relegation threatened Tianjin TEDA at home. The away side fought valiantly and only buckled within the last ten minutes of the game as Gao Lin rose above his defender and headed the league leaders in front with nine minutes to go. Then as TEDA chased an equaliser, Evergrande put two more in the back of the net to secure a 3-0 win.

Six of the eight matches were played at the same time on Saturday and as Evergrande struggled against a resilient Tianjin side, their only real threat, Shanghai SIPG didn’t have to play and were probably sat at home watching on their tv’s, as they would play on Sunday instead against third-placed Tianjin Quanjinan.

The match between second and third was a hard fought affair with plenty of chances for both sides but neither able to break the deadlock and the game ebbed out in a somewhat disappointing 0-0 draw.

We now jump back to the main fixtures on Saturday to focus on one of the more important matches in the fight for the Champions League spots. Shandong Luneng travelled to the capital to face Beijing Guoan.

All the action happened in the first half in this one. Graziano Pelle opened the scoring after 14 minutes before Ba Dun and Li Lei put the hosts in front after goals on 25 and 31 minutes respectively. As Beijing thought they were heading into the break one goal to the good Papiss Cisse appeared three minutes into added time to put Shandong back on level terms, and that was all she wrote. The second half had no goals and 2-2 remained as the final result in a match that would have seen Beijing get on level points with Shandong in fourth had they won, but now remain down in seventh place.

Going ahead a day once more Guangzhou R&F knew what they had to do to put themselves back in contention. They did what was required, sweeping away Liaoning Whowin by 4-1 at home. Three goals went unanswered before Liaoning got one back, all in the first half. Eran Zahavi added his second of the night five minutes into added time in the second half.

At the bottom, we’ve already mentioned Tianjin TEDA and Liaoning Whowin losing heavily. How about the other teams?

Jiangsu Suning missed the opportunity of leapfrogging Henan Jianye as the two sides drew 2-2 while Changchun Yatai kept the distance to the two others by drawing, somewhat unfortunately after conceding three minutes into added time, against Shanghai Shenhua.

Bottom of the table Yanbian lost once again, this time 3-0 to Hebei China Fortune, and look to be lost at the bottom with six points to safety.

Finally, Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng took a long step away from relegation by taking their second win in a row, beating mid-table Chongqing Lifan 1-0.

About the Author

Ola Bjerkevoll
Norwegian studying sports journalism in England. Lover of all football, especially Chinese, German and Oceanian. Twitter: @olabje