2024 Chinese Super League Round Three results recap

Chinese Super League

The Chinese Super League is back, fresh off a two-week international break where many of the league’s stars were in action for the China National Team.

China faced off in back-to-back fixtures against Singapore in the Second Round of their World Cup Qualifiers, looking to secure a place in the next round.

With players returning to their clubs, Round Three of the 2024 season kicked off with plenty of goals and the early league table starting to take shape. Here is the results recap for Round Three of the 2024 Chinese Super League.

Shenzhen Peng City 2-2 Cangzhou Mighty Lions

The first fixture of Round Three was a high-scoring affair between Chinese Super League newbies Shenzhen Peng City, who played host to Cangzhou Mighty Lions.

Fresh off their shock victory over Chengdu Rongcheng in Round Two, Cangzhou started brightly and were rewarded with an early penalty, which Brazilian striker Héber, an off-season signing from MLS side Seattle Sounders, duly converted just 12 minutes into the match – his first of the season.

Their lead did not last for very long, however, as 33-year-old Spanish striker Edu García netted just 13 minutes later, pulling his side level. Teammate Zhang Wei scored his first goal for the club seven minutes into added time to give Shenzhen a surprising lead at the half-time break.

The match looked set to end 2-1 in Shenzhen’s favour, as neither side could find the net in regulation. Things looked to be turning even worse for Cangzhou when Wang Peng received his marching orders four minutes in added time, taking them down to 10 men.

However, with such a lengthy period after the 90 minutes, Cangzhou sent their fans into rapturous applause as Oscar Maritu scored 10 minutes into stoppage time, ensuring his side left Bao’an Stadium with a point.

The result keeps Shenzhen firmly in 15th place in the league, occupying the second relegation place, with just one point through their opening three matches in their debut season in the top tier, while Cangzhou hold onto eighth place with four points.

Wuhan Three Towns 0-1 Beijing Guoan

Wuhan Three Towns were looking to build some momentum after picking up their first win of the season in Round Two, but they came up against a Beijing Guoan side looking to maintain their unbeaten run.

The two sides fought a fairly even contest, with Wuhan controlling 56% of possession while Beijing looked to be the team more likely to score with 15 shots at goal, with three of them on target – more than double Wuhan’s in each category.

The solitary goal of the match came in the 74th minute through Angolan international striker Fábio Abreu, his first of the season after netting 10 for the capital city club in 2023.

After scoring, Abreu and his teammates celebrated by holding up a fan shirt in solidarity with a Beijing Guoan fan who has been diagnosed with cancer, a gesture greatly appreciated by the fanbase.

Three Towns had no answer for the Imperial Guard, who saw out the result and picked up their seventh point of the season – placing them in and around the top teams in the league at this early stage of the competition.

Chengdu Rongcheng 1-0 Nantong Zhiyun

Chengdu Rongcheng suffered a wobble in Round Two of the Chinese Super League season, suffering defeat at the hands of Cangzhou Mighty Lions, so a victory against Nantong Zhiyun was an absolute must to get their season back on track.

While they allowed the visitors more possession (53%), it was Chengdu who had the majority of chances with nine, three being on target, and they were rewarded for their efforts in the 39th minute when English-born Chinese Taipei international Tim Chow opened the scoring.

Nantong had no answers for Chengdu, failing to register a single shot on target in the match, and suffered consecutive defeats that have them once again facing the prospect of a relegation battle this season, with just one point to start their 2024 campaign.

Qingdao West Coast 1-0 Qingdao Hainiu

It was the first Qingdao Derby of the 2024 season in Round Three as West Coast, one of the newest teams in the league, hosted city rivals Hainiu, who have had a difficult start to the year so far.

Hainiu looked like they would put up a fight and claim their first points of the season in this one, enjoying the majority of possession (55%) while also having more shots on goal (17 to 11).

Despite this, West Coast were the more clinical of the two sides, with four shots on target compared to Hainiu’s three, and as they say, it only takes one, which Colombian forward Brayan Riascos took in the 27th minute, giving his side a 1-0 lead.

The hosts managed to hold onto their slim lead for the rest of the match and secured three vital points early in their debut top tier season, whereas their opponents suffered a third consecutive loss that roots them to the bottom of the standings.

Shanghai Port 3-1 Henan

Reigning champions Shanghai Port continued their strong start to their title defence with a convincing 3-1 home victory over Henan, although they left things a little late.

It took almost an hour for either side to break the deadlock, with Port taking the lead through talismanic striker Wu Lei in the 56th minute of play. Things looked to be heading for a straightforward 1-0 victory until Henan’s Nemanja Čović scored with just six minutes remaining in regulation – making things tense for the home side.

Zhang Linpeng put his side ahead in the 89th minute, however, and deep into stoppage time Argentinian striker Matías Vargas put things beyond doubt with his side’s third goal, ensuring a surprise was not on the cards for Henan, who suffered their first defeat of the season.

Changchun Yatai 0-1 Tianjin Jinmen Tiger

After picking up three points against Qingdao Hainiu in the last round, Changchun Yatai played their first home fixture of the 2024 season looking to build some momentum in front of the home crowd.

Things were fairly even throughout the match, with just a solitary penalty scored by Andrea Compagno in the 44th minute separating the two sides. Liao Chengjian pulled Croatian defender Mile Škorić’s shirt in the box and referee Ma Ning had no choice but to point to the spot.

Club captain Serginho came close with a curling effort from inside the box, while Wu Yake, back between the sticks after Chen Yang played Wang Zhifeng in the opening two fixtures, made a crucial save that kept Changchun Yatai in the fight.

Robert Berić missed out on this one, unable to face his old team due to a reported knee injury, so Yatai were lacking in firepower up front and will be disappointed that they couldn’t at least come away from the match with a draw.

Shandong Taishan 0-3 Shanghai Shenhua

The biggest shock of the entire round came when Shanghai Shenhua travelled to Jinan Stadium and picked up three points against last season’s league and cup runners-up, Shandong Taishan.

While picking up the win may not necessarily be overly surprising, as they did so in the Chinese FA Cup final last season, the fact that they scored three unanswered goals in Shandong’s home ground certainly is.

Shenhua led for almost the entire match as João Teixeira scored after just five minutes of play. The Portuguese midfielder scored again on the half hour mark, giving his side a comfortable 2-0 lead at the break.

Midfielder Xu Haoyang, who has had a successful three-year spell in his career with both Shenhua and Wuhan Three Towns, with whom he has collectively won the China League One, Chinese Super League, Chinese FA Cup and Chinese Super Cup, netted his first goal of the season to put the match beyond the host’s reach.

Shandong could not find a way to break down the Shenhua defence and will be searching inwards for answers on how they can get things back on track after such a disappointing loss, while Shenhua will be delighted to have earned a third consecutive victory that puts them atop the standings.

Meizhou Hakka 1-2 Zhejiang

Zhejiang once again earned points in a close match away to Meizhou Hakka, having picked up four from their opening two fixtures. Dutch forward Deabeas Owusu-Sekyere opened the scoring three minutes after the restart, with both sides reaching half-time tied at 0-0.

His opening goal was cancelled out just two minutes later, however, when Rooney Eva Wankewai pulled his side level.

Hong Kong international defender Leung Nok Hang scored against his old club in the 74th minute, with Zhejiang able to hold onto the one goal lead and secure another three points that has them firmly competing at the top end of the table right out of the gate