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Every Point Counts --- Last Second Strike, Tying the Score in Closing Minutes and Penalty Shootout Produce the Chinese FA Cup Final Four

2018-07-26 15:05     CFA

Yanjing Beer 2018 CFA Cup quarterfinals concluded on July 25.Teams Dalian Yifang and Shandong Luneng Taishan from groups EFGH both cruised through their rivals and progressed to the semi-finals. For teams from groups ABCD, Guangzhou R&F had a seesawed-score match with Jiangsu Suning. Guangzhou squeezed a win over Jiangsu with a stoppage-time penalty. Beijing Sinobo Guoan and Shanghai SIPG headed to penalty-kick tiebreaker after neither could grab a winner in full and extra time. Beijing advanced to play Guangzhou in the semi-finals.

The first leg of the FA Cup semi-finals will be held between August 21 to 23 Beijing time.

At 7:35pm of July 24, Sichuan Jiuniu hosted all-Chinese-player Dalian Yifang at Chengdu Longquanyi Football Stadium.

Qin Sheng scored the opener with a penalty as the first half drew to an end, giving Dalian a 1-0 lead. In the 53rd minute, Cui Ming’an bent a beauty of a free kick at the edge of the box to put Dalian ahead 2-0.

Dalian seized a 2-0 win and pushed past Sichuan 5-0 on aggregate in two legs to reach the FA Cup semi-finals. Cui who scored with an amazing free kick was named the player of the match.

Despite an end to their CFA Cup miracle, Sichuan’s performance had earned many football fans’ respect and made a record in team and CFA Cup’s history. We wish Sichuan Jiuniu greater successes in next year’s CFA Cup.

Dalian will date Shandong in the semi-finals.

At 6pm of July 25 Beijing time, Shandong Luneng Taishan hosted Guizhou Hengfeng.

Liu Junshuai gave Shandong the lead with his header off Hao Junmin’s corner kick in the first half. Hao’s corner kick also helped Brazilian Gil scored the second goal for Shandong in the second half. Zhang Chi seized the win for Shandong by hitting a volley across goal in the stoppage time, assisted by Graziano Pelle.

Shandong beat Guizhou 3-0 and advanced to the CFA Cup Semi-finals with 3-0 on aggregate in two legs.

Shandong will take on Dalian for a berth in the finals.

At 8pm of July 25 Beijing time, the second leg of the CFA Cup quarterfinals took place in the Yuexiushan Stadium where Guangzhou R&F hosted Jiangsu Suning.

Ji Xiang scored the opener for Guangzhou in the first half, but Zhang Chenlong struck an incredible tight-angle equalizer. Later Eran Zahavi’s goal set Guangzhou to lead 2-1 after the first half.

Xie Pengfei evened the score with his header in the second half, only to see Zahavi seized a 3-2 win with a last-minute penalty. Guangzhou progressed to the semi-finals with 3-2 on aggregate in two legs.

Guangzhou R&F moves on to match against Beijing Sinobo Guoan in the semi-finals.

At 7:35pm of July 25 Beijing time, Shanghai SIPG hosted Beijing Sinobo Guoan.

The first leg saw Beijing getting an upper hand with a 2-1 win over Shanghai at home.

The second leg returned to Shanghai and Brazilian forward Elkeson was in the line-up as his countryman Hulk was suspended for aggregate yellows.

In the 19th minute Yu Hai scored the opener off the pass from Wang Shenchao for the host.

Cai Huikang gave Shanghai the 2-0 lead with a header off Brazilian midfielder Oscar’s corner in the 39th minute.

Spanish midfielder Jonathan Viera scored a free kick in the 93rd minute of the extra time, tying the aggregate score to 3-3.

Both sides stayed even for the extra time and headed to the shootout in which Elkeson missed a penalty.

Beijing Sinobo Guoan survived a tough battle and advanced to the CFA Cup semi-finals with a 5-4 victory over Shanghai SIPG on penalties in the second leg, a 8-7 win on aggregate.

Cui Ming'an (No. 26), a footballer of Dalian Yifang, had a superb strike of goal from distance.

Shandong’s Liu Junshuai (No. 3) was a tenacious defender in the match who also scored the opener with a header.

Guangzhou R&F is familiar with Eran Zahavi's (No. 8) heroic performance in the field that sent Guangzhou to the semi-finals with his penalty in the closing minutes.

Beijing Sinobo Guoan is grateful that Jonathan Viera (No. 23) has been in great shape recently who bent a goal of free kick in the stoppage time and turned things around.

(edit:李鑫)