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Guangzhou tie Jiangsu 1-1 at first leg of CFA Cup final


11-21-2016 10:57 BJT

First up is football and the first leg of Chinese FA Cup final that saw the defending champions, Jiangsu Suning, travel to face Guangzhou Evergrande. Now the hosts aren't exactly lacking for trophies, as they recently claimed their sixth straight CSL title, but they have only one FA Cup accolade, and that came back in 2012. So coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is eager to try and fill up that side of the trophy case by leading Guangzhou to double titles this season.

And it doesn't take long for Evergrande to get on the board, as Brazilian Alan sets up his compatriot Ricardo Goulart, who fires a low shot through Jiangsu's Gu Chao.

The hosts dominate the first half, and really should have added more goals, but former Tottenham Hotspur man Paulinho sees his header saved from six yards out in the 26th minute.

Suning replace midfielder Xie Pengfei with Zhang Xiaobin in the 46th minute, and that move may have helped because nine minutes later, Alex Teixeira comes close with a low shot.

And in the 64th minute, Teixeira is going to find the net after a cross is headed on by Guangzhou's Huang Bowen and Mei Fang.  The hosts may have have reason to protest that the Brazilian was offside, but the refs disagree, and the match ends in a 1-1 draw.

"We studied our opponents very closely before the match. We scored an early goal and had many chances later. It's a pity we couldn't hold on to the lead," Guangzhou Evergrande forward Ricardo Goulart said.

"It was a tough match for us, facing the strongest team in China at their home stadium. But we scored an important goal and we will play the second leg with an advantage,"  Jiangsu Suning forward Alex Teixeira said.

The return fixture will be in Nanjing on November 27th, where Jiangsu will hope to defend their title. Guangzhou, after failing to win the trophy for three years, are eager to end the season with one more honour.

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