Domestic Leagues

East Asia Wrap: Shanghai Shenhua defeat Beijing FC as Chinese Super League kicks off

Hong Kong: China PR's domestic season got back underway last week with goals galore, highlighted by Shanghai Shenhua edging their fierce rivals from the capital on Friday.

As well as a full set of domestic match fixtures from the Korea Republic and Japan top flights, there was league action in Hong Kong, Macau and Chinese Taipei, so join as we review the action from across East Asia.

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China PR: Shenhua claim bragging rights in China Derby

The 2021 Chinese Super League began last Tuesday in the centralised hubs of Guangzhou and Suzhou, although the marquee match-up was the last of the week as traditional rivals and 2020 AFC Champions League sides Shanghai Shenhua faced Beijing FC.

And, thanks to goals from Giovanni Moreno and new signing Wu Xi, it was the blue shirts of Shenhua who would be celebrating at the final whistle, with Li Lei's reply coming too late for Beijing to mount a comeback.

It was to be a good week all-round for teams from Shanghai as Shanghai Port defeated Tianjin Tigers 6-1 thanks to a Marko Arnautovic hat-trick, while in the Guangzhou derby the points were shared between Guangzhou FC and Guangzhou City.

There were also wins for Shandong Taishan, Qingdao FC, Shenzhen FC and Changchun Yatai, while Hebei and Wuhan FC shared the points.

Korea Republic: Weekend of stalemates in K League

The top three in Korea were all held to draws over the weekend as Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Ulsan Hyundai and Jeju United all failed to take maximum points in ties against Gangwon FC, Incheon United and Pohang Steelers respectively.

In fact, the only team in the top five able to muster a win was Suwon Samsung Bluewings, who edged past Seongnam FC via Lee Ki-je's 81st minute winner.

Meanwhile Daegu FC's renaissance continues after their poor start to the season as an Edgar Silva strike made it three wins on the bounce as the club moved into sixth following their 1-0 win over Gwangju FC.

Japan: Five of the best for Marinos in Yokohama Derby

Bottom side Yokohama FC's season continues to go from bad to worse as they were well beaten 5-0 by city rivals Yokohama F. Marinos on Saturday. Ange Postecoglou's side moved into fourth with the win, thanks to Ado Onaiwu's brace, and could be set to challenge the incumbent top three, who all registered wins.

Kawasaki Frontale had edged Cerezo Osaka 3-2 earlier in the week to remain out in front, but Nagoya Grampus' 2-0 win over Gamba Osaka and Sagan Tosu's 2-1 defeat of FC Tokyo ensured they keep the pressure on the defending champions.

The other noteworthy result of the weekend was Kashiwa Reysol putting five past Tokushima Vortis in a 5-1 win with Hiroto Goya twice on target.

Hong Kong: Eastern ensure grandstand finish

For the second consecutive weekend, a late winner from Fernando saw Eastern SC restrict Kitchee SC's lead to just three points at the top of the Hong Kong Premier League table with two rounds of matches to go in the 2020-21 season.

The Brazilian-born Hong Kong star struck in the 90th minute to help Eastern past third-placed TSW Pegasus to keep the club's title hopes alive.

In the other weekend ties, promoted side Resources Capital overcame Happy Valley AA 3-0, while Southern District lost 2-1 to Lee Man.

Chinese Taipei: Champions move into first

Tainan City leapfrogged Taipower into pole position in the early stages of the Chinese Taipei Premier League after an impressive 4-2 win over TSU FC to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Taipower could only draw with Taichung Futuro, while Hang Yuan FC are edging closer in third place after they defeated Taipei Flight Skywalkers 1-0.

Rounding off the action on Sunday, promoted side CPC FC stunned three-time winners Tatung FC 3-1.

Macau: Big wins for C.P.K. and Benfica

Benfica de Macau put six past Policia on Saturday as the traditional heavyweights looked to keep the pressure on leaders C.P.K., while rivals Sporting de Macau were held to a 1-1 draw by Monte Carlo.

Sunday was highlighted by a rollercoaster seven-goal thriller as Lun Lok edged Ching Fung 4-3, while Ka I comfortably saw off Hang Sai with a 3-0 win.

Nevertheless the biggest result of the round came on Friday as C.P.K. eased past Casa de Portugal 12-0 to remain perfect in the early stage of the season.


Photo: Shanghai Shenhua

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