Muriqui grabs late point for Guangzhou
Brazilian striker Muriqui scored twice to earn a point for Guangzhou Evergrande as the newly-promoted side played out a 2-2 draw with Beijing Guoan in the Chinese Super League at Guangzhou Tianhe Stadium.
Xu Liang opened the scoring midway through the first half, blasting home a 25-yard free-kick before Muriqui cancelled it out on the half-hour mark. The capital side restored the lead shortly after the break thanks to a header from Wang Xiaolong but a last-gasp equaliser by Muriqui forced the 2009 CSL champions to share the points with Guangzhou.
Joel Griffiths called Guangzhou keeper Li Shuai into action after just two minutes with a fierce long-range effort that he parried away. Honduran forward Walter Martinez came close to scoring in the 19th minute, heading Zhou Ting's inviting cross just over the bar at the far post but Xu then beat the bemused Li with a superb free-kick to put Beijing in front.
But the hosts drew level in the 30th minute when Muriqui was sent clear by Yang Hao's through-ball and he beat keeper Yang Zhi with an angled shot.
Three minutes into the second half, Wang leapt higher than Li Jianhua to head Martinez' cross into the net as Beijing regained the lead. Cleo and Yang threatened with two excellent volleys shortly before the hour mark but neither was on target.
It was not until two minutes before the final whistle that Muriqui evaded the offside trap, latched onto a pass by Zheng Zhi and rounded the keeper to equalise.
"Some of my players burst into tears in the locker room after playing out a draw here," said Beijing coach Jaime Pacheco. "Guangzhou, as a good team, have plenty of good players but it was not fair for us to walk away with only one point."
Beijing are on four points after three games, five points adrift of front-runners Hangzhou Greentown and Shaanxi Baorong. "I should give credit to my players for scoring the last-gasp equaliser because they never gave up in the tough clash," said Guangzhou boss Lee Jang-soo, whose side now have five points. "We are making progresses but we need to further improve to reward our fans."