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August 16, 2019

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Guoan wins, Evergrande held

Beijing Guoan returned to second place in the Chinese Super League standings after beating Dalian Yifang 2-0 away while league leader Guangzhou Evergrande’s win streak came to an end as it was held 1-1 at home by Chongqing Lifan last night.

In the other matches of the rescheduled 22nd round of CSL yesterday, Shandong Luneng lost 1-2 to host Wuhan Zall and Tianjin Tianhai held visiting Shanghai Shenhua 2-2.

In Dalian, Beijing dominated the match but couldn’t break the deadlock until the second half. Ba Dun’s close-range shot and Zhang Yuning’s powerful strike helped the visitors seal the victory. With the win, Guoan overtook Shanghai SIPG to go second in the league on 54 points, one ahead of SIPG.

Guangzhou, which has 59 points, failed to extend its winning streak to a record 14 matches. Although Anderson Talisca opened the scoring with a free kick, Chongqing leveled the score just two minutes later through Feng Jin. The scoreline remained unchanged.

Meanwhile, heart-broken fans placed beer, scarves and candles outside Beijing Guoan’s stadium in a fast-growing memorial to former forward Walter Martinez, who died aged 37.

The Honduras international suffered a suspected heart attack on Monday in New York, Guoan said, plunging the club and its supporters into mourning ahead of its departure for Dalian.

Martinez, whose career was stymied by injuries, started out in his native Honduras before stints with Beijing in 2007-2008 and 2010-2012.

He later had a spell in Major League Soccer with San Jose Earthquakes. He retired from football in 2016.

The diminutive forward won 49 caps for Honduras, scoring 12 goals, and played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

“Beijing Guoan Football Club, on behalf of Guoan fans, would like to express most sincere condolences to the family of Martinez,” it said in a statement. “We hope there is football in heaven. Beijing will always miss you!”

Grieving Beijing supporters also placed flowers and liquor at the makeshift memorial to Martinez outside the Workers’ Stadium in the Chinese capital.


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