SUZHOU, China – The highly-anticipated semifinal of Chinese Super League between Guangzhou Evergrande and Beijing Guoan ended 0-0 here on Wednesday, as both side saw their attempts denied by the woodwork four times in total.
With Park Ji-Soo injured, Evergrande coach Fabio Cannavaro opted for Mei Fang and Jiang Guangtai to form the defense line while Cedric Bakambu partnered Zhang Yuning up front for Guo’an.
Evergrande almost broke the deadlock seven minutes into the game as Fei Nanduo whipped in a cross from the right, and Paulinho’s header took a deflection to hit the bar, while at the other end, Renato Augusto cut inside from the left and unleashed a missile that was denied outright.
The game was wide open as Bakambu cracked the frame again in the 36th minute before Augusto’s sitter went wide off the post.
The game was still at a breathless pace after the break as Anderson Talisca’s curler went over the bar while Jonathan Viera’s attempt was blocked by Evergrande’s goalkeeper Liu Dianzuo.
Talisca went close in the 81st minute as his volley on Wei Shihao’s assist rattled the crossbar.
The 16 sides were split into two groups in the first phase between July 22 and September 28, playing in a round-robin format in Dalian and Suzhou.
The top four teams from each group in the first phase gathered in Suzhou to vie for the title between October 16 and November 12. The remaining eight teams will fight in the relegation group in Dalian.
The return leg for Evergrande and Guoan is set for November 2.