Beijing break winless run
Beijing Guoan recorded their first victory in seven Chinese Super League games with a dominant 4-1 win over Shanghai Shenhua today.
The capital side's hopes of qualifying for the 2011 AFC Champions League were hugely boosted by the victory over their arch-rivals.
Australian striker Joel Griffiths scored for the home side in the 32nd minute when he showed lightning reflexes to curl in a rebound from Qiu Shengjiong after the goalkeeper parried out Xu Liang's 30-yard free-kick.
Chinese international Feng Renliang scored an equaliser three minutes after the break, stabbing home a loose ball from the edge of the box. The hosts suffered a setback four minutes later when central defender Xu Yunlong was sent off for a reckless challenge on Feng.
But 15 minutes from time, Zhang Yonghai restored the advantage for Beijing, beating Qiu with a diving header after latching onto Xu's free-kick from the left.
It took only another eight minutes for the hosts to score again when Honduran forward Walter Martinez made the most of a mix-up between Qiu and defender Wu Xi, firing Wang Changqing's cross into the empty net. Two minutes before full time substitute Du Wenhui powered in a 30-yard free-kick to seal the victory for Beijing.
"When we scored the second goal to restore advantage, I still felt it was extremely difficult to take all three points," said Beijing's interim coach Wei Kexing, who replaced Hong Yuanshuo early this week. "This victory is history from now on. We must be fully prepared to the remaining six games."
Beijing now have 35 points and are in fifth place of 16-member CSL. They are tied with fourth-placed Hangzhou Lucheng. The top four CSL sides will compete in the Champions League next season.
"I required my players to have more ball possession when the opponents were reduced to ten men, but unfortunately, they failed to stick to my plan," said Shanghai coach Miroslav Blazevic. "Beijing displayed their strong desire for the victory."
Shanghai are still in second place with 41 points, 10 shy of front-runners Shandong Luneng. Shandong were indebted to youngster Zheng Zheng, who scored a later equaliser to earn the three-time Chinese champions a valuable point. Zheng's strike cancelled out a penalty by Brazilian Claudinei Alexandre Aparecido after 12 minutes.
Elsewhere, Dalian Shide drew 2-2 with Chongqing Lifan, Liaoning Zhongyu lost to Tianjin Teda 3-1, Nanchang Bayi shared a 1-1 draw with Henan Jianye while Shaanxi Baorong and Qingdao Zhongneng also played out a 1-1 draw.