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There's still all to play for, says Zhang Chi


Jinan: Shandong Luneng's first leg goalscorer Zhang Chi believes their AFC Champions League Round of 16 with Guangzhou Evergrande is still far from over ahead of the return meeting at Jinan Olympic Stadium.

Wei Shihao's first-half strike and a late own-goal from Zheng Zheng at Tianhe Stadium sees Guangzhou 2-1 in front on aggregate in the lead-up to Tuesday's second leg, but Zhang's fine angled strike that reduced the deficit does give Shandong a vital edge and an extra dimension to the clash of countrymen.

And the midfielder is adamant that the tie is still tightly poised.

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"I don't believe Guangzhou have a big advantage going into the second leg at all," said 31-year-old Zhang.

"We performed OK in the first leg and we have reviewed some of the things we need to improve on from that match.

"You have to look at the Round of 16 as a full 180 minutes of football, not just the first leg. My teammates and I are really looking forward to this second match."

 

Round of 16: Guangzhou Evergrande FC v Shandong Luneng FC

The first leg in southern China was played in tough, humid conditions with the temperature at Tianhe Stadium reaching 31 degrees centigrade.

Jinan, the capital city of the eastern province of Shandong, is expected to be several degrees cooler and less humid.

Nevertheless, Zhang believes the weather has not played a factor in the Round of 16 so far.

"For me, in such hot weather both teams performed at a really high level," he said.

"The weather had the same effect on both teams. Both played a match in the league and only had two to three days in between. So while it is tough, the weather is fair to both.

"Although we lost the first leg, I believe we can achieve the result we want in this second leg match."

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