The quarter finals of the FA Cup are back with the second leg and there’s plenty of way’s these matches could go down as the teams try to fight their way into the semi finals.
The biggest game is the Canton Derby between Guangzhou Evergrande and Guangzhou R&F. It was played in the league on the weekend as well, and the result from that one was identical to the first Cup tie. R&F ran out 4-2 winners on the weekend, with goals from Eran Zahavi and Renatinho, the same two who scored in the Cup match. When these two face off once again today R&F have the upper hand with the two goal lead and the undefeated record against Evergrande this year (2 R&F wins and 1 draw). Away goals do count in this tournament so if Evergrande score twice with no reply from R&F, they go through.
Half an hour before the Canton Derby kick-off the first match of the day starts, between Shanghai Shenxin and Jiangsu Suning, at 12:35 UK time. Shenxin are the one remaining non-Super League team in the Cup and before kick-off they are through to the semis, again the away goal rule comes into play, as the first match ended 2-2. The last match was exciting to the very end with two goals in the final ten minutes, one for each side, and if this match has half that excitement it should be a good one.
Tomorrow Shandong Luneng takes on Shanghai Shenhua. Shanghai are struggling in the league but have the Cup to take their mind off it. It went well for the blue clad boys last time as they beat record holder Shandong, who have the most Cup wins with six, 3-1. As with the Canton Derby, only two goals from Shandong brings this match to life and with Shandong’s last two games, where they’ve scored five, fresh in mind, that could very well happen.
The final game is on Thursday and it is the one that, on paper, looks almost done and dusted before the teams kick off. Shanghai SIPG have a three goal deficit to fight back from as Tianjin Quanjian ran out 3-0 winners last time. A goal from Wang Xiaolong in the first half and two goals from Alexandre Pato in the second saw the third-placed team beat the second-placed one. If league form and the last match is anything to go by then Tianjin should win this, four wins and a draw in the league to SIPG’s two wins, two losses and a draw.
The way to the semi finals will be decided one way or another, and hopefully it will be very exciting.