Super Eagles forward Brown Ideye and his Tianjin Teda teammates got what could pass for baptism of fire on Saturday as they were hammered 4-0 by hosts Hebei CFFC in the Chinese super league.
Ideye who was in action for the first half of the game was pulled out on the dot of 45 minutes and replaced by Zhao Honglüe at a time when the visitors were already four goals down.
It was a day everything chose to go well for Hebei CFFC. The harvest of goals for the homers started in the fourth minute when Argentina import Ezequiel Lavezzi converted a penalty. Cameroon international Stéphane M’Bia doubled the lead five minutes later with assistance coming for Lavezzi who grabbed his second goal in the 28th minute.
Home boy Zhang Chengdong put the icing on the cake in the 39th but has Brazilian Aloisio to thank for the timely assistance.
As if the demolition was not bad enough for Tianjin Teda, the Jaime Pacheco tutored side had a man Bai Yuefeng who had earlier bagged two yellow cards for rough play sent off reducing the side to 10 men.
Resumption of play in the second half saw both teams set parallel agenda, Hebei CFFC seeking to score more goals and Tianjin Teda seeking to reduce the goals conceded, unfortunately both targets failed to materialise.
Nigeria international and Tianjin Teda Captain John Obi Mikel is still recuperating in London after successful surgery and reportedly eager to return to China. Prior to Saturday’s 4-0 defeat, Tianjin Teda had enjoyed a 3-1 home victory against Yanbian Funde, coming on the heels of an earlier 3-0 loss to Guangzhou Ever.
Hebei CFFC are 5th on the 16-team super league table with Tianjin Teda five places below.
Guangzhou Ever consolidated their grip at the top with a 4-2 defeat of Henan Jianye. The table toppers have played seven matches so far with 16 points in the kitty.