Beijing Guoan edge out SIPG on shootout in CFA Cup
Jonathan Viera's late goal in the stoppage time helped Beijing Guoan equalize the aggregate score 3-3 and advance into the semifinals of Chinese Football Association Cup on penalty shootout as Elkeson, Shanghai SIPG's star forward, missed his shot.
Guoan Wednesday began the second leg of the CFA quarterfinal with a 2-1 advantage thanks to their home victory in the first encounter. Sunday's league win against Tianjin Quanjian also boosted their confidence.
Playing at home, SIPG dominated the match in most of the time. In the 18th minute, Yu Hai slotted home a powerful goal to put SIPG ahead. Twenty minutes later, Cai Huikang's header after receiving a perfect freekick from Oscar secured a 2-0 lead for SIPG .
After a gruelling second half, Guoan were at the brisk of elimination when their newly signed Spanish midfielder Viera launched a spectacular freekick that curved into the net in the 92th minute and dragged the match into extra time.
A goalless 30 minutes saw the match going into shootout. SIPG's Brazilian forward Elkeson was the first to the spot and the only one missing the shot as the ball hit the crossbar and bounced off. Guoan players nailed all the penalties and triumphed 5-4.
This is Guoan's first shootout win in their four attempts in the CFA Cup. Their rivals in the semifinals will be Guangzhou R&F, who knocked out Jiangsu Suning in a 3-2 thriller with Iranian ace Eran Zahavi scoring a VAR-awarded penalty in the stoppage time.
After Sunday's strenuous match, Guoan will stay in Shanghai for their league encounter against Shenhua this weekend. As far as Guoan's coach Roger Schmidt is concerned, rotation is necessary for the fatigued league leaders.