Beijing Guoan’s first home win eases pressure on Zaccheroni

Shanghai (AFP) – Beijing Guoan eased the pressure on their under-fire coach Alberto Zaccheroni with a 2-1 victory over Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Shanghai SIPG — their first home win of the season.

The former Juventus and Japan coach has endured a tough start to life in the Chinese Super League, with fans mounting a mass protest at Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium after a poor start to the season.

Guoan are well off the pace in ninth place in the 16-team league, with eight million euro ($9.1 million) striker Burak Yilmaz still out injured.

But superb long-range goals from Brazil’s Ralf in the 24th minute and former Wolfsburg midfielder Zhang Xizhe in the 50th minute secured victory over third-placed SIPG on Sunday.

Ivory Coast striker Jean Kouassi scored SIPG’s goal on 31 minutes in a game played in front of 38,058 fans.

Zaccheroni said despite the morale-boosting win, Beijing’s second victory of the season overall, there was much work still to do.

“We’ve had terrible luck with injuries up till now but I hope we can do our best to get past this difficult stage,” he told Sina Sports.

“I hope we can give our fans more good results soon but we still need some time to reach our peak,” added the Italian.

Elsewhere, ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba was on target as Shanghai Shenhua demolished Guangzhou R&F 5-1 watched by a crowd of 19,692 fans at a rain-soaked Hongkou Stadium.

Shenhua winger Lu Zheng opened the scoring after just five minutes before Guangzhou’s Xiao Zhi equalised just six minutes later. 

And the floodgates opened in the second half with four goals in the last 25 minutes from Gio Moreno, Cao Yunding, Ba and ex-Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins.

Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Guangzhou Evergrande stayed top of the league with a 2-0 home win over Hebei China Fortune. Chinese international forward Yu Hanchao and Brazilian striker Alan did the damage with goals in the 44th and 48th minutes respectively.

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