Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tianjin Teda 2 v Central Coast 2

The timing of this game, in the middle of Wednesday night, meant that it missed the attention it deserved. Including from me. I watched it later as an Foxtel IQ recording.

The stadium was full. The handful of fans in CCM or Socceroo colours (very similar now) were massively outnumbered. CCM hadn't won a game since New Year.

And yet CCM were the better team. Hit by an against the run of play goal in the first half. Matt Simon terrorised Tianjin Teda's local and French defenders. The ref was fooled by a dive from a Teda defender into giving Simon his 2nd yellow card of the competition and he will miss the next game. However, the Chinese fear of Simon opened the game up Simon. Great goals to CCM, two minutes after coming on Caceres back healed a wayward strike, and 15 minutes later Simon took on a defender, kicked the ball ahead a metre and got himself in a one-on-one with the keeper.

CCM need work on corners, conceding both goals from headers.

Considering Newcastle came last and CCM 4th, the A-League is demonstrating that it is - just behind Japan but up there with Korea and China.

By the way, Sydney FC's Mark Bridge played more than half a game for Teda. He appears to be displacing one of their stars. More evidence of A-League quality.

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