All-Stars edge out Guangzhou
By Football News
Champions Guangzhou Evergrande suffered a 1-0 loss to the Chinese Super League All-Stars on Wednesday.
Liu Jianye's goal proved the difference in the traditional fixture, which pits the title holders against a collection of the division's best players.
Guangzhou, who have the two-legged Chinese FA Cup final to play against Guizhou Renhe later this month, fielded a weakened side at Tianhe Stadium.
The All-Stars, captained by former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita, dominated the early exchanges, while Guangzhou could only muster a shot from midfielder Qin Sheng.
Keita should have opened the scoring midway through the opening half, but was left to rue a poor strike that failed to trouble Yang Jun in goal.
The Mali international tested Yang again 10 minutes later with a powerful free-kick that forced the goalkeeper to make a diving save.
The All-Stars broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when Keita played a pinpoint ball through to Liu, who found the net with a clean finish.
It was a measure of revenge for Liu, whose Jiangsu Sainty side finished runners-up to Guangzhou this season.
Guangzhou struggled to create many clear chances, though striker Ni Bo came close to equalising with a free-kick that was parried by Deng Xiaofei.
The All-Stars could have doubled their advantage as full-time approached, but Yang Xu dragged his shot wide.
While Evergrande lost the match, there were few signs of disappointment as they lifted their second straight CSL trophy after the final whistle.