This round was truly a round for the overly dramatic finishes. It was not one for those faint of hearts as four of the seven games had the winning goal coming in added time in the second half.
We first go back to Friday as league leaders Guangzhou Evergrande welcomed Yanbian Funde to their home. We said in our preview of this round that Yanbian could cause problems for Evergrande as they try to fight off relegation, and problems they caused.
It started routinely enough with an opening goal for Evergrande within the first fifteen minutes, but after that both teams threw the script out the window. First Steve scored on either side of the half time whistle to give Yanbian the lead, before a Han Guanghui own goal saw the teams level at the hour mark. Then Muriqui thought he’d secured the win for Evergrande as he scored with two minutes of play left. But Steve was once again a thorn in Evergrande’s side as he scored just as the clock was ticking in to added time. However, the Yanbian hearts were broken as Liu Jian swooped in to save the day for Evergrande with a goal two minutes into the added time. The highly dramatic opener ended 4-3.
The early Saturday kick off between Shanghai SIPG and Liaoning Whowin was another where top met bottom and this one had all the action in the first half. An Elkeson goal and a Wu Lei brace meant that SIPG had the lead going in to the second half despite Hu Yanqiang’s early goal for Liaoning and Olivier Boumal’s goal between Wu Lei’s two. Zhang Ye then surprised everyone by putting Liaoning level after 55 minutes and that was it for the game really. No more goals and a 3-3 result that neither team could be all too happy with given their respective chasing situation.
Then back to the second of the matches with dramatic finishes. Odion Ighalo opened the scoring for Changchun Yatai against Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng in the second half after quite a dull first half. Yu Rui added a second just eight minutes before the end, after they had been brought down to ten men thanks to Yi Fan’s red card, but Han Pengfei brought life back to the game with a goal just before the 90 minutes were up. Odion Ighalo then put Changchun ahead by two again as he scored his second before Nikica Jelavic reduced the lead back to one in the sixth minute of added time, but it was too late for Guizhou who lost 3-2.
The other two matches that kicked off on Saturday afternoon saw Hebei China Fortune take a big step towards that third place as they beat Jiangsu Suning 3-2, a match that Hebei were leading 3-0 after 50 minutes only to invite Jiangsu back in to the match and barely being able to hang on, while Tianjin Quanjian and Shandong Luneng drew 0-0 in the only scoreless game in the match.
On Sunday Tianjin TEDA took a big step towards staying up this season as they beat Shanghai Shenhua 2-1. Two early first-half goal to each of the sides saw the two locked in a hefty battle for the entire game before Mbay Diagne scored his second for TEDA, in added time, to give them the win.
The final game this round is the last of the nailbiters as Guangzhou R&F hosted Henan Jianye. Xiao Zhi and Renatinho gave R&F a 2-0 lead before Ricardo Vaz Te and Christian Bassogog brought Henan level. Then deep into added time, for the fourth and final time this round, the match was decided. Renatinho put the ball past Wu Yan in the Henan goal to give the blue clad boys a 3-2 win.
So a dramatic round of action has come to an end and with only three rounds left, there’s still plenty of excitement left in both ends of the table. Beijing Guoan and Chongqing Lifan have a game in hand as their match was postpone until Wednesday 25th of October.