WE BELIEVED UNTIL THE END
1 May 2018
Tianjin Quanjian faced Jiangsu Suning in the CFA Cup round of sixteen and lost in the penalties, after an emotional 2-2 in the regular time.
In the home team eleven, Modeste came back to the starting eleven, swapping places with Alexandre Pato. The game started at a slow pace, with both teams showing respect towards the opponent and with very few dangerous moments. Tianjin had the game controlled and with more ball possession at the same time that Jiangsu only was causing any trouble in quick counter-attacks.
In the last minutes of the first half, Paulo Sousa’s team came foward on the pitch and had two great chances to score. First, and in a free kick, Wang Xialong placed the ball in the right corner but Gu Chao saved in style and in the last minute of the first 45, Zhao Xuri hit the post in another great attempt.
The second half started with Jiangsu Suning opening up the scoreboard. Tianjin defense lost the ball in a dangerous zone and Alex Teixeira, face to face with Qibin Sun, gave no chance to the goalkeeper and – against the game tide – made it 1-0.
Tianjin grew after the concieved goal and created good chances to score. Modeste, in an indirect freekick, came close to score twice, but the away team struggled to avoid the goal. At the 68′ minute, and in another quick counter-attack, Qibin Sun fouled Ramires inside the penalty box and Alex Teixeira doubled Jiangsu advantage.
The home team never stopped fighting to diminish the gap and to get back in the game, at the costs of reducing the number of defenders, and the goal came in the 89′ minute with a spectacular kick from Mi Haolun from outside the box. It was Tianjin’ moment to believe and they did exactly that in the stoppage time. After a corner in the right, the ball came to Witsel; the Belgium midfielder tied up the game in a great bicycle kick and sent the game to penalties.
In the penalties decision, Modeste missed the first penalty to Tianjin but Paletta didn’t score in the last penalty of five and the game went to sudden death. In the 18th penalty taken, Tianjin Quanjian’ defender Chu Jinzhao kicked the ball too high and gave the win to Jiangsu.
Tianjin will now focus in the China Super League and in the next match, against Chongqing Lifan, scheduled for next saturday.
This article has been written by Paulo MCD Sousa Editors Team
Photo: Titan Sports Plus