SIPG Stays 2nd With 1st Away Victory of Season

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Fu Huan’s first-half strike was enough as Shanghai SIPG edged Tianjin Teda 1-0 in the ninth round of the Chinese Super League yesterday. It was SIPG’s first away victory this season.

It was also a clash between two Portuguese coaches — SIPG’s Andre Villas-Boas and Tianjin’s Jaime Pacheco.

Fu’s goal came in the 34th minute on an assist from Lu Wenjun. Hulk also found the net in the 41st but it was flagged offside by the linesman.

Tianjin boosted its attack in the second half, but two of its best attempts were foiled by visiting goalkeeper Yan Junling as SIPG held on for the win.

SIPG stayed second in the 16-team standing on 20 points — two less than defending champion Guangzhou Evergrande, which won 0-1 at Changchun Yatai in an earlier match. Big-spending Jiangsu Suning notched its first CSL victory by rallying to beat Shandong Luneng 2-1 in the late match yesterday.

Meanwhile, the two Shanghai teams in the CSL — SIPG and Greenland Shenhua — will meet at Hongkou Football Stadium on Saturday for a keenly awaited derby. It will be the first match to be played at the stadium after it was closed for repairs following a fire in March.

The fixture, originally scheduled for 7:30pm, will now kick off at 3:30pm due to continuing power supply problem. Also, six stands at the stadium will remain closed for safety reason, thus limiting the number of tickets available for fans.

Shenhua has played seven away games in a row in both the CSL and China FA Cup. Its latest away game was a 0-0 CSL draw at Henan Jianye on Saturday, leaving Shenhua in 7th place with 11 points.

Despite the draw, head coach Gus Poyet was satisfied given the absence of key players Giovanni Moreno and Fredy Guarin.

“When I first took over the team, I was told that Shenhua doesn’t have a good record in away games,” the Uruguayan said at the post-match press conference. “In the last seven away matches, we won three, drew one and lost three, and the three teams that defeated us were strong opponents. It was a good result in general.”

Poyet’s predecessor Gregorio Manzano, who was named manager of Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng last week, had a good start in his new stint in the CSL as the Spaniard’s new team beat Fabio Cannavaro’s Tianjin Quanjian 2-1 on Saturday.

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