Crunch time as CSL sides look to advance in the Champions League

The Champions League has hit its halfway point and all the Super League teams are still within a chance of going through to the knockout stages, some are better off than others. As Matchday Four resumes, the CSL sides will play on Tuesday and Wednesday in the reverse version of last round’s fixture, meaning it’s another round of China vs South Korea.

Tianjin Quanjian vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Tianjin Quanjian will be out for revenge against Jeonbuk as they got absolutely smashed by them last week in Group E. After going into the halftime break down 2-1, Quanjian got overrun by the South Koreans in the second half and losing 6-3, only scoring their final two in the last ten minutes when they were already 6-1 down. As Kashiwa Reysol from Japan, who are playing whipping boys Kitchee, are hot on their heels, only behind on away goals from the head-to-head result with Tianjian, the CSL side need a good result in this match. One point is a minimum to not leave themselves with too much to do in the final two matches.

Ulsan Hyundai vs Shanghai SIPG

Over in Group F it’s going quite well for SIPG as they are top of their group with two wins and a draw. The draw came in the last match against Ulsan Hyundai. Oscar spared SIPG’s blushes by pulling them back immediately after conceding on two occasions as they drew 2-2. That was at home, now they travel to South Korea and if Ulsan win this they will bypass SIPG in the group. A win could secure SIPG passage through to the knockout round should Melbourne Victory fail to win in their tie against Kawasaki Frontale.

Jeju United vs Guangzhou Evergrande

Evergande are also travelling to South Korea and found their feet after a slow start in the first two matches. They beat Jeju 5-3 after being down 2-0 at halftime last time out and they will be looking to make it a more comfortable match this time around. They are only one point ahead of surprise package Buriram United from Thailand and Japanese side Cerezo Osaka so a slip up here could mean it’s all tied up between them while Jeju could take the lead of the group with a win.

Shanghai Shenhua vs Suwon Samsung Bluewings

Onto the last group then, and the CSL team that struggles the most. Shenhua are only one point behind Suwon and their second place but Kashima Antlers seem as good as gone at the top of the group. A win for Shenhua at home to the South Koreans could see a big shift in momentum for both teams as a replay of last week’s 1-1 stalemate will not be a good result for either side, but more favourable for the South Koreans. Shenhua have started poorly in the league but could start to turn that around with a good result here, perhaps they can use the ACL as a stress-free zone and not focus too much on the troubles in the league.

About the Author

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