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Chinese FA Cup finely poised

Beijing: There is still all to play for in the Chinese FA Cup final after a Cedric Bakambu penalty in the second half secured Beijing Guoan a 1-1 draw with Shandong Luneng in Sunday's first leg at the Workers Stadium.

Diego Tardelli had given Shandong the lead, also from the penalty spot, in the 31st minute.

Bakambu, who had conceded the penalty, made amends six minutes into the second half when he converted from the spot.

Besides the Chinese FA Cup, both teams are fighting for an automatic berth into the 2019 AFC Champions League.

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The FA Cup winners will seal the third group stage spot available for China PR while the runners-up will go into the qualifying rounds.

The return leg is on Saturday with the champions booking a berth in Group G along with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Buriram United and a team from the playoffs.

Chinese Super League champions Shanghai SIPG were drawn in Group H alongside Sydney FC, Kawasaki Frontale and a team from the playoffs while runners-up Guangzhou Evergrande will have Melbourne Victory, a team from Korea Republic and a playoff winning side to contend with in Group F.

Photo: AFP

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