The story appears on

Page A15

April 22, 2019

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Soccer

Shenhua stutters to Wuhan draw

Shanghai Greenland Shenhua could only draw 1-1 away to newly promoted Wuhan Zall in their sixth-round match of the 2019 Chinese Super League last night. Another Shanghai team and defending champion SIPG is five points off leader Beijing Guo’an following its goalless draw against second last-ranked Tianjin Tianhai.

Playing in the Hubei Province capital Wuhan, Shenhua manager Quique Sanchez Flores made a few changes in some key positions, including replacing regular goalkeeper Li Shuai with Shen Jun, and starting with Oscar Romero instead of Fredy Guarin.

Shenhua’s first opportunity came 15 minutes into kickoff when Li Peng’s header hit Wuhan’s bar. Shenhua players were still fretting over the miss when Wuhan quickly organized a counterattack, with Jia Minwen firing the last shot of the move to give Wuhan the opener.

Shenhua’s equalizer came in the 31st minute when Wang Wei’s long pass found captain Giovanni Moreno in Wuhan’s box. Moreno headed the ball to Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo and the latter beat Wuhan goalie Dong Chunyu to knot the score.

It was Ighalo’s sixth goal for Shenhua this year, making him the leading scorer in the CSL so far.

Wuhan thought it had grabbed the lead — and possibly the winner — in the 76th but Jiang Zilei’s goal was ruled off-side after a video assistant referee review by the match referee.

Shenhua is now ninth in the 16-team CSL table on seven points.

SIPG and Tianhai’s clash on Friday was the only goalless match of the round. Being able to pocket one point was, in fact, a lucky result for the defending champion.

VAR intervened thrice in the match and none of it went against SIPG — Tianjin’s goal seven minutes into kickoff was ruled offside after a VAR review; referee Zhang Lei canceled a penalty awarded to Tianjin in the 48th following a review; and Wang Shenchao’s alleged handball foul in the 54th was not confirmed by Zhang after he watched the review, allowing SIPG to escape with the draw.

After the match, SIPG manager Vitor Pereira cited a tight schedule and lack of rest as the cause for his team’s below-par performance. Despite this, however, the Portuguese didn’t make much changes to his starting lineup for the match.

“I feel that the team is very tired. The players didn’t show the strength they have and didn’t do well in running off the ball,” Pereira said after the match. “We tried to control the ball and raise the speed upfront but didn’t have the effect we wanted. Our performance today deserved just one point.”

Defender Wang Shenchao also cited the fatigue problem. “Both teams created a few chances. Maybe because of fatigue, we didn’t execute the last shot well and missed scoring opportunities,” he said.

The defending champion is now third in the CSL standings on 13 points. SIPG’s schedule ahead is pretty tough as it will have to play five matches in 18 days on three fronts — the CSL, the AFC Champions League and the China FA Cup.

Its next match is an ACL clash against Sydney FC at Shanghai Stadium tomorrow. The team is second in Group H with four points after three matches, and is yet to secure a spot for the next round.

In other CSL matches over the weekend, a red-hot Beijing Guo’an edged Hebei China Fortune 1-0 to sit atop the standings on full 18 points from six straight wins. Guangzhou Evergrande beat Shandong Luneng 2-1 in a focus match to place second on 15 points. Jiangsu Suning trashed Guangzhou R&F 5-1 to climb up to fourth with 12 points — one less than SIPG.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend