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May 6, 2021

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Late Bassogog penalty secures draw for Shenhua in local derby

Christian Bassogog’s stoppage-time penalty earned Shanghai Shenhua a 1-1 draw with cross-city rival Shanghai Port last night as both sides dropped points for the first time in the new Chinese Super League campaign.

The pair had won their opening two games of the season and Port, champion in 2018, took the lead after 63 minutes when Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy strode unopposed through the Shenhua midfield before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic almost enlarged Port’s advantage within three minutes, but his low shot was kept out by an excellent save from Shenhua goalkeeper Zeng Cheng.

Port was reduced to 10 men for the final five minutes when midfielder Mirahmetjan Muzepper was sent off and, in added time, a foul by Port striker Lyu Wenjun on Shenhua’s Giovanni Moreno gave fellow forward Bassogog the opportunity to score the equalizing penalty.

Shenhua and Port are level on seven points at the top of the standings in Suzhou-based Group B with Hebei FC, which beat Tianjin Jinmen Tiger 1-0 earlier at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Center, thanks to Yin Hongbo’s 40th-minute strike. Tianjin also played with 10 men after Zhen Cong was sent off in the 77th minute.

Games in the early rounds of the 2021 CSL season are being played in centralized hubs in Guangzhou, southern Guangdong Province; and Suzhou, neighboring Jiangsu Province, to limit travel around the country due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Slaven Bilic picked up his first win as Beijing Guoan coach at the third attempt when two goals in two minutes from midfielder Zhang Xizhe earned the former West Bromwich Albion manager’s side a 2-0 win over Dalian Pro.

The victory was soured for Beijing, however, by an injury to key midfielder Jonathan Viera, who was taken to hospital after falling awkwardly and twisting his knee.

The Spaniard has sustained damage to his medial collateral ligament and knee cap and will be sidelined indefinitely.

Beijing moved up to fifth in the eight-team Group B standings, two points behind fourth-placed Changchun Yatai, which drew 0-0 with Wuhan FC.

The fourth round of CSL games will kick off tomorrow.


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