Beijing drop points
A goalless draw at Tianjin Teda saw Beijing Guoan regain top spot in the Chinese Super League today on goal difference, but they will rue their failure to pick up all three points as Tao Wei missed a golden opportunity to score a late winner.
Beijing were without Joel Griffiths for the clash at Teda Football Stadium after the Australian striker was handed a seven-game ban by the Chinese Football Association for an obscene gesture towards supporters in a top-of-the-table clash against Henan on 10 October.
And the home side came close to a goal after 37 minutes when Mao Biao latched onto Han Yanming's through ball with just Yang Zhi to beat, but the goalkeeper denied him. Beijing created an effort of note one minute before the break when Huang Bowen's curling shot on the edge of the box was turned away by keeper Yang Jun with a reflex save.
After a physical start to the second half, Honduran international Emil Martinez evaded his marker and hit straight at keeper Yang 10 minutes before the final whistle. Three minutes later, Tao created the best opportunity of the game as his chip looped over goalkeeper Yang but defender Cao Yang made a last-gasp intervention on the goalline.
"I don't know whether a draw was acceptable or not," said Beijing coach Hong Yuanshuo. "It's not time to think about the points and we must play each game well. Our team now has good spirit and solidarity and I think they hold the key to success."
Beijing are now level with Henan at the top of the table but have a better goal difference with three games to go.
"We were under huge pressure before taking to the pitch today," said Tianjin manager Zuo Shusheng. "We played well and my young players gained good experience."
Tianjin are only one point adrift of the top two with Shandong Luneng, Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua also in title contention. Elsewhere, Fengtao Huang scored the only goal in the second half as Shenzhen recorded a 1-0 win at basement side Chongqing Lifan.