Mao grabs winner for Shaanxi
Mao Jianqing headed home with five minutes remaining as Shaanxi Baorong edged out fellow strugglers Qingdao Zhongneng 1-0 in the Chinese Super League today at Qingdao Tiantai Stadium.
The last-ditch header from Jonas Salley's cross secured Shaanxi a first top-flight win since Serbian coach Milorad Kosanovic was appointed to replace former China manager Zhu Guanghu early this month. Shaanxi's win moved them level on points with Qingdao.
"We displayed good discipline in the second half and my players showed their responsibilities as the team chased a victory," said Kosanovic. "Shaanxi deserved the victory, although I think we still need to improve our shooting skills. I am still doing my best to fine-tune the squad and hope we can solve our problems as early as possible."
Both sides showed plenty of endeavour from the outset but struggled to produce real attacking threat. Shaanxi created the first effort midway through the first half when former Manchester City defender Sun Jihai curled a shot over the crossbar.
Yu Hai thought he had opened the scoring for the visitors after 32 minutes with a left-foot drive, only to see the strike cannon back off the post. Yu and Mao continued to pose a threat in the second half and after Mao steered Salley's pass over the crossbar with six minutes remaining, the duo successfully combined a minute later to earn Shaanxi a hard-fought but deserved victory.
"Our young players played good football," said Qingdao coach Guo Kanfeng. "However, we paid the price because we are short of experience." Elsewhere, Changsha Ginde and Shenzhen Kingway shared a goalless draw.