After nearly more than two months away, the Chinese Super League returned this weekend with some shock draws, red cards, big misses and high scoring games. Let's review the games from Matchweek 6
Guangzhou FC 3 v 1 Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic
As soon as the first whistle went, Guangzhou attacked, with various goalscoring opportunites in the opening 5 minutes. But, it was Chongqing who struck first in the 7th minute. After two goal line clearances from defenders Tyias Browning and Wu Shaocong, the ball eventually fell to Yin Congyao to slam it into the roof of the goal. Guangzhou weren't about to let their heads drop and continued to run at Chongqing's defence. It was in the 25th minute that Wei Shihao equalised through a fortuitous tap in, following a flick on from Alan Carvalho. It was there that Guangzhou saw that the game was there for the taking. In the 33rd minute right winger Yihao Zhong crossed the ball into the box which found its way to Gao Zhunyi. Seeing the keeper racing towards him, Gao feigned his first shot, sending the keeper to the floor, before striking it into the bottom left corner. After half time, Guangzhou maintained their ferocity and continued to create chance after chance. They received reward for their patience in the 63rd minute when defender Wu Shaocong passed the ball to 24 year old Yang Liyu outside the box. Liyu took one touch before expertly curling the ball over the stretching Chen Zhao. Chongqing did try to get back into the game with some opportunities to score towards the end, but were unable to cope with Guangzhou's attacking intensity and energy.
Henan Songshan Longmen 2 v 0 Qingdao
Henan earned their first win of the season despite playing the majority of the game with 10 men. Qingdao were the side who attacked from the off, scoring a goal in the 7th minute through defender Liu Jian off a setpiece. However, it was correctly ruled offside. The game was quite quite from then on, with neither team creating many attacking opportunites. However, Henan left back, Ke Zhao, was given his marching orders in the 34th minute, after being given a second yellow for going in studs up on Lü Peng during a tackle. The action didn't commence until the second half when Chen Pu curled a delicious ball in from the corner which Brazilian forward, Fernando Karanga headed into the net in the 49th minute. Qingdao appeared to wake up then and tried to take advantage of the extra man on the pitch. Whilst they continued to attack, they were unable to test Henan keeper Wang Guoming, missing clear goal scoring opportunites or hitting it straight to the aforementioned goalkeeper. It was then in the dying moments of the game that Henan got an opportunity up the field from a throw in. Karanga held the ball up to play in a perfectly weighted through ball to Chen Pu who darted past Qingdao defenders. The 24 year old brought the ball into the box and with great composure, cut back onto his right foot to take it past the Qingdao defender and slam the ball into the net in the 92nd minute.
Shandong Taishan 0 v 0 Guangzhou City
Despite registering 526 passes, 62% possession and 20 shots. Shandong Taishan weren't able to capitalise in a game which most would feel they definitely should have won. It was all Taishan the first half, with the Mount Tai team creating the most chances and looking to create something. They could possibly feel aggrieved that they were not given a penalty in the 25th minute after midfielder Ye Chugui looked to hit the ball with his hand in the box. The decision ultimately wasn't given. Shandong were frustrated again a few minutes later in the 32nd minute when Brazilian Leonardo, scored for the side, only to have the goal ruled out due to the ball hitting his hand prior to scoring. The goal was checked by VAR and they agreed with the referees decision. Taishan continued to attack relentlessly but due to an incredible performance from 22 year old City goalkeeper, Han Jiaqi and a stalwart defence, they were able to keep Shandong at bay. Guangzhou only managed one shot on goal all game and were lucky to come away with a point.
Shenzhen FC 2 v 1 Cangzhou Mighty Lions
Cangzhou were hoping to register their first win of the season and could have felt positive about their chances when they went 1-0 up in the 22nd minute after Brazilian forward Muriqui's goal. The goal came about through 21 year old Oscar Maritu, who had looked to use his fast pace to beat the defence, before cutting it back for his teammate to curl into the top left corner. Shenzhen looked to equalise just before half time when Ghanaian Frank Acheampong, controlled the ball down in the box and looked to lift over the incoming Cangzhou keeper, his efforts were dashed however through a goal-line clearance. They continued to push with four opportunities before the half time whistle. Cangzhou goalkeeper, Shao Puliang keeping his side in front with some brilliant saves. It was only a matter of time though in the second half that Shenzhen would reap the rewards from the constant attacking and this came in the 80th minute when Zheng Dalun was brought down in the box. Alan Kardec making no mistake from the spot to make it 1-1. Shenzhen had the confidence and belief then that they could go on to win the game. In the 90th minute following a punched clearance from Puilang, Zhang Yuan retrieved the ball from about 20 yard outs, controlled it with one touch before hitting it on the half volley to send it flying into the top left corner. Sensational goal!
Beijing Guoan 0 v 0 Tianjin Tiger
This should have been a game which Beijing won with relative ease, but they made hard work of it despite 69% possession, 554 passes and 20 shots. It was all Beijing throughout the game, they had chance after chance to open the scoring but almost every time, they would hit the ball wide or blast it over the bar. Any shots on target were so soft that Tianjin keeper, Teng Shangkun barely had to move. Tianjin did have their own chances, albeit not as many as Guoan. However, similarly to their counterparts, they were unable to capitalise in front of goal, in a game which was very lacklustre for both sides.
Wuhan 0 v 0 Shanghai Port
Another game where it should have a simple win, but this time to Shanghai Port. The 2018 league winners were facing off against a Wuhan side which has yet to win a game this season. The game was fairly even, with Wuhan having 42% possession to Shanghai's 58% and a similar tally of shots at goal. However, neither team were able to make the most of their attacking chances. Shanghai did score in the 35th minute after defender, He Guan headed the ball into the net. However, the goal was ruled out due to a supposed offside in what was a very peculiar decision given the fact that He Guan was not offside. A Shanghai teammate was but had no involvement in the play. A questionable decision indeed, one which Shanghai could feel aggrieved with and even the Wuhan players did not think anything of it. The second half proved to be no different, with both sides having ample opportunites to go 1-0 up, but none having enough about them to put the ball in the net. Perhaps it might have been due to the two month hiatus since games were last played, but neither side looked like they wanted to win this.
Shanghai Shenhua 3 v 2 Dalian Pro
Whilst Dalian have only won one game all season, their recent performances of late have shown a lot of improvement. Illustrating some fight and determination in their game. And they showed exactly that in this match. After a quiet first half, the second half brought alot of action, excitement and energy. The first goal came in the 55th minute following a cross on the right wing from Christian Bassogog, who met the head of Bi Jinhao perfectly to make it 1-0 to Shenhua. Shanghai pushed for a second and got their reward a few minutes later when an almost replica goal was scored by Wu Xi. Similar to the first, it was Zhao Mingjian this time who curled the ball into the box and and Wu Xi met it with accuracry to head it into the bottom left corner. However, Dalian were't about to give up. In the 71st minute, Dalian were granted some luck when a deflected ball and save landed perfectly for Zhao Xuri to volley into the net. Dalian came again with the equaliser in the 87th minute, when Huang Jiahui took the shot on from just outside the box. The ball looked certain to be heading out of play, but it went past the stretching Shenhua goalkeeper and in off the post to make it 2-2. Dalian looked to be happy taking a point after being 2-0 down, but Shanghai spoiled the party when in the 91st minute Zhao Mingjian calmly placed the ball into the bottom left corner following a pass into the box from none other than Christain Bassogog once again. Devastation for Dalian and celebration for Shenhua.
Hebei 2 v 1 Changchun Yatai
In the final game of Matchday 6, it was ex-Ulsan Hyundai striker Junior Negrao who opened the scoring in the 8th minute, after running onto a long ball over the top and rounding the stranded Hebei keeper to place it cooly into the net. However, Hebei weren't going to let their heads drop after the early goal. In the 25th minute following a cross on the right wing from Lin Cui, 21 year old Yao Xuchen headed the ball past the Changchun keeper to make it 1-1. Yatai felt invigorated by the goal and continued to attack. The game became 2-1 to Hebei several minutes later, after left back Ding Haifeng got forward and cut the ball back for Wang Qiuming to hit it first time into the bottom right corner. Hebei had further chances to increase the score towards halftime, but were unable to capitalise. In the second half, the game became more even with both teams having a fair amount of the ball and opportunites on goal, however most shots were either off target or too soft to make the goalkeepers work. Changchun did look to equalise in the 84th minute through forward Cheng Changcheng, however the goal was ruled out for offside.
Matchweek 7 Fixtures
The schedule for Chinese Super League games is a heavy and hectic one, with games being played every two days giving teams hardly a moment to catch their breath before playing their next match. This is set to be the case for the next eight matchdays until the teams take another scheduled break in the season due to international games in September.
Qingdao v Guangzhou FC | Wednesday 21st July at 11am
Cangzhou Mighty Lions v Shandong Taishan | Wednesday 21st July at 11am
Chongqing Liangjing Athletic v Shenzhen | Wednesday 21st July at 1pm
Guangzhou City v Henan Songshan Longmen | Wednesday 21st July at 1pm
Tianjin Tigers v Shanghai Shenhua | Thursday 22nd July at 09:30am
Changchun Yatai v Beijing Guoan | Thursday 22nd July at 09:30am
Shanghai Port v Hebei | Thursday 22nd July at 11:30am
Dalian Pro v Wuhan | Thursday 22nd July at 1:30pm