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Yingkou Chaoyue Drew 1-1 with Dandong Hantong at the Opener of the Hanwe 2018 CMCL

2018-08-03 11:16     CFA

The Hanwe 2018 Chinese Football Association Member Association Champions League (CMCL) opening ceremony was held grandly at Yingkou city of Liaoning province at 7pm of August 2, 2018 which was attended and addressed by CFA Vice President Li Yuyi.

The following opening game saw the host held to a 1-1 draw by Dandong Hantong with a last-minute goal.

"CMCL, the top-tier tournament of domestic amateur league, sets up a platform for interaction among China League Two and amateur leagues of CFA member associations." said CFA Vice President Li Yuyi at the opening ceremony.

Li stressed the three top priorities of the CMCL: first, by building a standard and well-ordered league management framework, it can instruct the standardization of the amateur leagues of CFA member associations, thus expanding the number of professional footballers, developing good physical exercising habit for the players, and cultivating an interest in football and an culture to boost amateur football; secondly, the CMCL needs to support top-class and standard amateur club development, build a highest-level exchange platform for domestic amateur football, make joint efforts to advance amateur football and improve the image of the CMCL; thirdly, the CMCL should foster the growth of promising clubs, bringing amateur clubs to China League Two by improving their performance in the top-level domestic league.

The opener following the opening ceremony saw Yingkou Chaoyue hosting Dandong Hantong, which drew some 12,800 people in attendance.

The host was visibly nervous after the opening kickoff as they were unable to break down the visitor, leading to a goalless draw when the first half ended.

After the halftime break, Yingkou found a way to release their stress as Liu Shiyu (No. 21) lashed home a volley in the 49th minute. The goal ignited the passion of the home fans as their shout of triumph roaring in the air.

Later the two sides exchanged offensives, however, the one-goal-behind Dandong Hantong had greater attacking, troubling the goalkeeper many times.

The visitor's stamina helped them secure an equalizer in the 88th minute. A spectacular cross from the wing was scored by a header from the player at the far post, tying the score late in the game. The score of 1-1 remained in the end.

At the press conference after the game Yingkou Chaoyue head coach Ma Kai said the match had been physical. It is a pity that the leading host conceded a goal in the 85th minute, but he admired the unremitting sportsmanship of their rival.

Yingkou Chaoyue captain Chen Nan who attended the press conference extended sincere thanks to the 10,000 plus fans at the stadium. He believed the players of the host had got over their nervousness and stepped up their performance in the game thanks to the support from the fans.

Dandong Hantong head coach Wang Dan was satisfied with the performance of his players in the game. He said that "I am very grateful that my players did not give up after a conceded goal. I hope we can secure some wins in the following tournaments and grab a qualification place."

Other tournaments at the same day saw Tongliao Lan'ao beating Anshan Dingsheng with 4-1 and Heilongjiang Qihedadi defeating Shenzhen Lichang by 2-0, Hulunbuir resting.

The first round of group match of the First North Division of the CMCL thus drew to a close with Tongliao topping the group, ahead of Heilongjiang.

The CMCL is short for Chinese Football Association Member Association Champions League, formerly named as Chinese Football Association Amateur League, and was renamed to its current name in January 2018.

More than 4,400 teams signed up for the qualifiers of the 2018 CMCL and 59 out of them qualified the division stage.

The division stage consists of eight divisions: First North Division (Yingkou city of Liaoning province), Second North Division (Taiyuan city of Shanxi province), Third North Division (Xi'an city of Shaanxi province), Fourth North Division (Taizhou city of Jiangsu province), First South Division (Nanjing city of Jiangsu province), Second South Division (Wuhan city of Hubei province), Third South Division (Chengdu city of Sichuan province) and Fourth South Division (Huizhou city of Guangdong province). Each division is made up by six to eight teams where the topped two qualify for the CMCL finals. The 16 squads for the CMCL finals will battle in a home-away knock-out competition after a draw. The top six teams of the season will be promoted to China League Two.