September 23, 2018 / 5:01 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer-Cruyff satisfied as Chongqing hold on to share points

HONG KONG, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Chongqing Lifan coach Jordi Cruyff declared himself satisfied with his side’s 1-1 draw with Guangzhou R&F on Sunday, even though the point earned did little to alleviate the club’s Chinese Super League (CSL) relegation fears.

Huang Zhengyu’s own goal just before the hour gave struggling Chongqing the lead only for R&F striker Xiao Zhi to level 10 minutes later with a header that ensured the spoils were shared.

“To be honest, we’re satisfied with a point,” said Cruyff, who took over as head coach in August.

“We were not at our best. We gave away possession of the ball too easily. Although we are not happy with the process, as a team in the relegation battle we are satisfied with the result.”

The draw leaves Chongqing in 14th place in the 16-team top flight, two points ahead of Henan Jianye in the relegation zone.

Also on Sunday, Beijing Renhe fought back from two goals down to seal a 2-2 draw with Tianjin Teda thanks to efforts from Makhete Diop and Ajub Masika as both clubs strengthened their hopes of avoiding the drop.

The pair, however, are well adrift of league leaders Shanghai SIPG, who secured a comfortable 3-1 win over Changchun Yatai to remain four points clear of second-placed Guangzhou Evergrande and on course for their first league title.

Evergrande were forced to fight back from going down inside the first eight minutes to goals from Eder and Li Ang against Jiangsu Suning to secure a 3-2 win on Saturday that keeps Fabio Cannavaro’s side in the title race with seven games to go after they slipped to a defeat by SIPG earlier in the week.

Paulinho halved the deficit against Jiangsu before a brace from Anderson Talisca ensured Evergrande kept pace with Vitor Pereira’s side.

Beijing Guoan fell further adrift with a 3-2 loss to bottom-of-the-table Guizhou Zhicheng and Roger Schmidt’s side are now seven points behind SIPG.

That result allowed Shandong Luneng to close in again on the top three — and a berth in next year’s Asian Champions League — thanks to a 4-1 win over relegation-threatened Henan Jianye.

Tianjin Quanjian’s struggles continued following their mid-week exit from the Asian Champions League, with Paulo Sousa seeing his team lose 2-0 to Hebei China Fortune.

Tianjin, who finished third in last year’s standings to qualify for the continental championship for the first time in the club’s history, are in 12th place after goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Dong Xuesheng earned victory for Chris Coleman and his team.

Second division champions Dalian Yifang continued their impressive late-season form and now stand in 10th place following a 2-1 win over Shanghai Shenhua.

Nyasha Mushekwi scored twice as Dalian continued a run that has seen them go five league games unbeaten, with victories in each of their last three games. (Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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