Shandong Taishan beats Shanghai Port to win CFA Cup
CHENGDU, China, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) — Jadson’s long-distance goal helped Shandong Taishan beat Shanghai Port 1-0 to win the 2021 Chinese Football Association (CFA) Cup at Chengdu Phoenix Hill Sports Park on Sunday.
Shandong, which won the 2021 Chinese Super League title last month, clinched its seventh CFA Cup title and its third league and cup double in the club’s history.
“It was a hard season for us, but the final results are good. Everyone in our team had the same goal and we are lucky to have achieved it,” noted Shandong head coach Hao Wei.
Hao thus becomes the first person in Chinese football history to win the league and cup double as both a player and head coach. “The glory doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the whole team. I couldn’t have gone this far without their help,” he added.
Both sides had chances in the first half but missed them all. Shanghai defender Wang Shenchao made a back pass error in the fifth minute, but goalkeeper Yan Junling denied Shandong’s Guo Tianyu.
In the 17th minute, Shanghai made a combination of plays with a corner kick, but Yu Hai’s close-range shot couldn’t beat Shandong goalkeeper Wang Dalei. Eight minutes later, former Chinese international Yu was forced off with an injury.
Shandong broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute as Jadson’s right-footed volley shot from distance went into the top corner, before Zheng Zheng’s free-kick hit the crossbar. Shanghai had no time to bounce back and Shandong sealed the 1-0 victory.
“I think everybody gave their maximum. We tried our best but it was not enough. I accept the fact that Shandong is the better team this season. We will keep our heads up and improve next season,” said Shanghai head coach Ivan Leko.
The final was notable for being the first game to be held at Chengdu Phoenix Hill Sports Park, becoming the first of the new venues built for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup to stage a game.
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