Chinese Super League 2017: Shandong Luneng Blanks Changchun Yatai, 2-0, to Register Third-Straight win to top Standings
|Cristian Andal |||Apr 04, 2017 03:54 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) Papiss Cissé scored a brace in Shandong Luneng's 2-0 win over Changchun Yatai on Sunday.
Surprise team Shandong Luneng Taishan FC has moved on top of the 2017 Chinese Super League standings after a 2-0 road victory over bottom-dwellers Changchun Yatai at the Development Area Stadium on Sunday.
It was the third win in three matches for Shandong Luneng as they join Guangzhou R&F as the only remaining teams with a perfect record so far this season. Shandong has a higher goal differential than R&F, which put them in the top spot of the league table, Xinhuanet reported.
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Senegalese striker Papiss Cissé was the man of the match for head coach Felix Magath as he scored all two goals in the 59th and 81st minute. The former Newcastle United standout broke the game's deadlock with a back-heeled shot one minute before the hour mark before burying a volley 22 minutes later to pull off a brace.
Changchun was able to hold Shandong to a goalless first half draw, but Taishan Dui began to pick up their game in the second half especially when Cissé became more aggressive on the attack.
"The first half was difficult but luckily we didn't fall behind," said former Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg manager Magath after the match, via SBS. "We found our own rhythm in the second half."
Shandong was almost relegated to the Chinese second division after finishing at the 14th spot last season. They were only two points away from relegation, but the team was able to stay unbeaten in three of their final five matches last term to stay in the China top-flight.
Meanwhile, it was the third consecutive defeat for Changchun as they started the season on the wrong foot. Head coach Lee Jang-soo's side was crushed by Shanghai SIPG, 1-5, during their season-opener on March 4 at the Shanghai Stadium before succumbing to a close 0-1 road loss at the hands of Guangzhou R&F in their second game.
Changchun is currently at the bottom of the standings and remain without a point after three rounds of competitions.
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