There were no surprises as the Big 4 Chinese teams continued their unbeaten streak in the Asian Champions League. 

Tianjin Quanjian v Kashiwa Reysol

Tianjin Quanjian almost opened the scoring via Anthony Modeste in the 4th minute. They were then lucky not to have a man sent off at the 26th minute with a kick to the head on Kashiwa Reysol player by Liu Yiming. Right before half time, they almost opened the scoring again but that goal was denied due to the what appears to be foul from Pato.

At the 52nd minute, Quanjian trailed 1-0 due to a fantastic volley from Cristiano, much to the delight of the small crowd of 6,776 at Kashiwa Soccer Stadium. Pato then helped Quanjian to fight back to a 1-1 draw at the 88th minute after a save from Nakamura on Anthony Modeste’s shot on goal. Modeste would have scored at the last minute of the game to give Quanjian a victory and all three points but his shot was put wide. Not bad for a debutant team to grab a draw away from their home.

Their heavy schedule starts next week when they open their Chinese Super League 2018 campaign against Henan Jianye away from home at Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium on 2 March. After that, it will be another away match in the ACL against Jeonbuk Hyundai for top of the group table clash at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on 6March.

Shanghai SIPG v Melbourne Victory

Much to the delight of 16,697 crowd in attendance at Shanghai Stadium, Hulk made an impact by getting off the mark to score a penalty goal at the 27th minute. Goals from a spectacular header off Wu Lei and an amazing two solo goals by Oscar helped Shanghai SIPG to a convincing 4-1 win over Melbourne Victory. This brought SIPG to the top of the table with two wins from two matches.

Like Tianjin Quanjian, they also have a heavy schedule, but both matches next week will be at home. One will be the Round 1 clash against the newly promoted team of Dalian Yifang FC on 3 March followed by the next round ACL match on 7March when they take on the K-League’s Ulsan Hyundai.

Shanghai Shenhua v Sydney FC

In front of a good crowd of 22,918 at Hongkou Football Stadium, Shanghai Shenhua managed to escape with a 2-2 draw. A brilliant pass from Giovanni Moreno to Li Yunqiu was sublime to watch in which Li Yunqiu provided an assist to Obafemi Martins who opened the scoring at 26th minute. But that lead did not last long because Sydney FC had an instant reply through Luke Wilkshire’s goal at the 28th minute to level the scores at 1-1. Then at the 34th minute, Shenhua went behind via a Milos Ninkovic assist to Alex Brosque for a goal. At the 39th minute, Shenhua fought back with a stunning volley goal from Fredy Guarin from outside of the area when Andrew Redmayne was off his line to save a pass.

After an exciting and entertaining first half, and despite pressure from Sydney FC, there was no goal scored in the second half, and the match finished 2-2.

The next games for Shanghai Shenhua include Guangzhou Evergrande at home for the Chinese FA Super Cup title on 26 February. After the Chinese FA Super Cup, Shenhua will open their Chinese Super League 2018 campaign against Changchun Yatai on 2 March. After this, they will be travelling away to Suwon where they will be take on Suwon Bluewings at Suwon World Cup Stadium for their ACL clash on 7 March.

Guangzhou Evergrande v Cezero Osaka

A disappointing 0-0 draw against Cerezo Osaka may prove to be costly for Guangzhou Evergrande at Yanmar Stadium Nagai in front of 9,885 people. Many chances were wasted for them. This game marked the debut of fomer Ajax and Tianjin Teda player Nemanja Gudelj in his first competitive match at ACL.

Guangzhou Evergrande meet Shanghai Shenhua for the Chinese FA Super Cup title and then take on Canton rivals Guangzhou R&F on 2 March for the opening match of the Chinese Super League. After this, they also will be playing at home for their next ACL match which will be against K League’s Jeju United.

The Chinese FA Super Cup 2018 will be played on 26 February. It should be a beauty between these two amazing teams from last season of Shanghai Greenland Shenhua (2017 Chinese FA Cup champions) and Guangzhou Evergrande (2017 Chinese Super League champions).

Categories: News | Asia

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