Wei Shihao indebted to Guangzhou doctor
Guangzhou: Wei Shihao has sung the praises of Guangzhou Evergrande’s doctor after the attacking midfielder returned from injury to open the scoring in the 2-1 first leg victory in the last 16 against Shandong Luneng on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old had been out of action in recent weeks, missing China PR’s games against the Philippines and Tajikistan, but returned for the 2-0 victory over Shanghai SIPG on Friday and then played a crucial role in the win over domestic rivals Shandong in the 2019 AFC Champions League.
Having missed a gilt-edged opportunity early in the game, Wei put the two-time winners in front in the 35th minute and was then quick to show his appreciation to doctor Silvano Cotti, running straight to the bench to embrace the Italian.
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“When I scored, the reason I ran towards the bench was so I could thank our team doctor for all he has done for me in terms of getting me fit again,” explained Wei.
“I didn’t train for two weeks during the international break and the doctor has worked hard with me to get me fit enough to play again so I wanted to show him my gratitude.”
Guangzhou were eliminated by Chinese opposition in both 2017 and 2018 and things took a turn for the worse for Fabio Cannavaro’s side midway through the second half when Zhang Chi rifled home the equaliser.
But the hosts kept pushing forward and were rewarded with 10 minutes to play when Yang Liyu’s cross was diverted into his own net by the unfortunate Zheng Zheng.
The win means Guangzhou will start the game in Jinan in the driving seat but with Shandong having registered a crucial away goal, the tie remains firmly in the balance.
FULL-TIME | Guangzhou Evergrande 🇨🇳 2-1 Shandong Luneng 🇨🇳— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) June 18, 2019
💪 Guangzhou defeat domestic rivals Shandong after an end-to-end second half and will take a narrow lead into the 2⃣nd leg in Jinan.#GUAvSDL #ACL2019 pic.twitter.com/KjlwOfQvtS
“It was a very tough match but in the end we managed to get the win,” added Wei, who signed from Beijing FC at the beginning of the year.
“The coach keeps telling us that we can’t lose our concentration during games. This contest is not over yet and we must focus for 90 minutes in the second leg – if we can do that, we hope to get the win.”
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