Roundup: Goals galore in the Canton Derby and finally some good for Liaoning

The 19th round of the Super League is over, and boy what a round it’s been.

Let’s dive right in with the biggest match of the round, the Canton Derby on Saturday.

The other two meetings between league leaders Guangzhou Evergrande and Champions League contender Guangzhou R&F had ended in a 2-2 draw in the league game and a 4-2 win to R&F in the FA Cup just ten days prior to this match, so Evergrande were looking for revenge.

Instead what we got was an almost carbon copy of the last match. R&F ran riot with the Evergrande defence once again and came away with another 4-2 win. Back then the goal scorers were Renatinho either side of an Eran Zahavi brace. This time the roles were reversed as Zahavi opened the scoring after 38 minutes, before a Renatinho brace in the second half and a final Zahavi goal five minutes before the final whistle led R&F to a fantastic win. Yu Hanchao scored Evergrande’s first just after the second half kicked off, to tie up the game, while Gao Lin scored a late consolation goal in extra time.

The other big match of the round came yesterday as Shandong Luneng hosted second placed Shanghai SIPG. SIPG knew that with a win here they would leapfrog Evergrande and go top of the table while Shandong needed a win to keep the Champions League dream going.

A tightly contested game was decided just three minutes before the whistle as Wu Lei and Jin Jingdao had scored for SIPG and Shandong. The goal that decided it was not a pretty screamer from miles out or an overhead kick tucked away in the bottom corner, no. It was a scrappy goal that came after a header bounced off the crossbar and the rebound was saved on the line, the rebound’s rebound, however? That was tapped in by Wu Xinghan for Shandong from just inches away. What some might call an ugly goal, but a goal nonetheless, and a goal that would see Shanghai SIPG stay in second as Shandong saw the match out to take a 2-1 win.

Beijing Guoan have really started playing well under new boss Roger Schmidt as they had won three on the bounce prior to playing a resurgent Henan Jianye side in Friday’s opening match. Guoan continued their great form by steamrolling Henan as Jonathan Soriano, who now has 10 goals in 11 appearances, scored a brace for the second game running and has scored at least one goal in his last five games. Beijing are now serious Champions League contenders.

Another serious Champions League contender is newly promoted Tianjin Quanjin who were facing lowly Yanbian Funde, sat at the bottom of the league, in Saturday’s first match. A brace from Alexandre Pato, assisted by new guy Anthony Modeste for the first goal, meant that they could rest easy for the last minutes of the match despite getting Chu Jinzhao sent off with four minutes to go.

In the main part of the round, on Saturday afternoon, Shanghai Shenhua, who were languishing down in the bottom half, faced Hebei China Fortune, who had been struggling after looking like a sure third-place finish for so long.

And Hebei woes will continue for yet another week as Shenhua won 3-2.

Gervinho, who was back in the Hebei squad after not having featured at all so far this season, put Hebei in front and Dong Xuesheng extended Hebei’s lead as they went into the break with a 2-0 advantage. That lead was swept away during 17 effective minutes from Shenhua. At the hour mark, Giovanni Moreno scored his first. He put his second in the back of the net on 76 minutes to pull Shenhua level, before Obafemi Martins finished the comeback just seconds later when Shanghai countered almost straight from the kick-off and Martins could smash the ball home alone with the Hebei keeper.

Jiangsu Suning have been resurgent and as we analysed in the Transfer Roundup yesterday, they could very well have bought their way out of any more relegation trouble this season with the signing of Benjamin Moukandjo. For it was he who solved everything for Jiangsu against Chongqing Lifan after Song Nan had pulled Chongqing back after Roger Martinez’s opener. Moukandjo got Jiangsu a penalty before he calmly slotted it past the keeper himself to score the final goal of the match, four minutes before half time, as Jiangsu won 2-1. Moukandjo is now three for three, he has two in the league and one in the cup from three matches.

We finish our tour of China with a bit of good news. Liaoning Whowin have finally won a game of football. Christian Bekamenga, that new guy they brought in on a free, scored the only goal of the game on his debut to give Liaoning a much needed three pointer against Changchun Yatai. With that win, they step out of the relegation zone and send Tianjin TEDA down into it.

But TEDA will have one game in hand, because their matchup with Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng has been postponed until 27th of September.