Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Guangzhou: Shandong Luneng claimed the first title of the new season in China on Saturday when the 2014 FA Cup winners beat reigning league champions Guangzhou Evergrande 5-3 on penalties.
The match marked FIFA World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro’s first official game in charge of Guangzhou, and for long spells it appeared as if the 2013 AFC Champions League winners were on course to claim their second Chinese Super Cup success.
However, with China international goalkeeper Wang Dalei in imperious form for Shandong, the two sides could not be separated in regulation time leading to the dreaded penalty shootout.
Having seen the first seven spot kicks successfully converted, Guangzhou’s Huang Bowen duly crashed his effort against the woodwork, leaving Brazilian striker Aloisio to seal the victory for Shandong with his penalty which he struck low and hard past custodian Zeng Cheng.
The 2015 Chinese Super League campaign is scheduled to begin in March, but before that both Shandong and Guangzhou will be in AFC Champions League action.
Shandong have been drawn in Group E alongside Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, an as yet unidentified play-off winner and Vietnam’s Binh Duong who they face in their opening match on February 24.
Guangzhou, meanwhile, are in Group H where they begin on February 25 against another yet to be decided play-off winner before facing 2014 AFC Champions League winners Western Sydney Wanderers and Kashima Antlers.