Chinese Super League 2017: Nikica Jelavic Scores in Guizhou Zhicheng's 1-1 Draw with Liaoning Whowin to Open New China Top-Flight Season
|Cristian Andal |||Mar 06, 2017 02:20 AM EST|
(Photo : Getty Images) Nikica Jelavic helps Guizhou Zhicheng salvage a 1-1 draw against Liaoning Whowin last Friday.
Underdog team Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng FC successfully opened their 2017 Chinese Super League campaign with a 1-1 draw against Liaoning Whowin at their home field of Guiyang Olympic Sports Center last Friday.
Former Hull City striker Nikica Jelavic scored in his China top-flight debut to help pull off a good start for the newly-promoted squad. The 31-year-old Jelavic, who was sent on loan to Guizhou from China League One side Beijing Renhe last month, netted the game's equalizer with a penalty kick in the 54th minute after Liaoning captain James Chamanga opened the scoring in the 14th with his own spot kick, ESPN reported.
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The Croatia international is considered as one of the best goalscorers in the Far East right now. The former Everton forward netted 15 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions for Renhe last season, as per the South China Morning Post.
Guizhou finished second to Tianjin Quanjian in the China League One last season to become one of two clubs promoted in the CSL this season. The team is currently manager by Li Bing, a retired football player and former striker of Liaoning.
Liaoning head coach Ma Lin was impressed about Guizhou's performance, saying that Li's boys were "the better team", but he praised the efforts of his players as well during the post-match interview.
"It's not easy to get a point from an away game like this," said Ma. "I'm very satisfied with my players' fighting spirit."
"To be honest, Guizhou were the better team but they were very bad at executing. Our problem was that our team is too young to play at their full potential. They're not comfortable enough to make passes and keep possession. We need time," he added.
Guizhou will next face capital city team Beijing Sinobo Guoan on Saturday also at their home stadium while Liaoning will visit Henan Jianye at the Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium on Sunday.
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