Shanghai SIPG won their first trophy of the new season after beating Beijing Guo’an 2-0 at the 2019 CFA Super Cup on Saturday.
It was SIPG’s first Super Cup appearance after winning the maiden Chinese Super League title last year, while Beijing was last year’s CFA Cup champion. The match was held at Suzhou Olympic Sports Center in neighboring Jiangsu Province.
SIPG manager Vitor Pereira started with the Brazilian trio of Hulk, Oscar and Elkeson. Despite the absence of top scorer Wu Lei, who recently joined La Liga side Espanyol, the CSL defending champion was close to scoring an opener just three minutes into kick-off. Elkeson’s pass from the bottom line found striker Lu Wenjun, whose shot hit Beijing’s post.
Beijing created more chances than their opponent in the first half. But SIPG goalie Yan Junling made sure of a clean sheet by his outstanding performance, including blocking two continuous short-range attempts by Beijing’s Congo striker Cedric Bakambu in the 38th. Yan was later named Player of the Match.
Yan’s counterpart, Guo Quanbo, also performed well, denying a one-on-one chance by SIPG’s Elkeson in the 34th.
SIPG’s first goal came in the 61st when Wang Shenchao received Cai Huikang’s assist and sent the ball into the far corner of Beijing’s goal.
The lead was doubled just five minutes later. Wang’s pass found an unmarked Lu Wenjun in Beijing’s box, and the latter beat Beijing goalie Guo to make the score 2-0.
Beijing’s naturalized player Hou Yongyong came as a substitute in the 71st, but could hardly twist the situation on the pitch.
SIPG manager Pereira gave 10 points out of 10 to the performance of his players.
“It was a good match and we worked a lot to win it. It’s one more title, a good start to the season. I’m proud to coach the team,” said the Portuguese.
“The victory is a good result of our winter training,” said opening goal scorer Wang Shenchao. “But we also discovered problems and the team needs more time to practice the new format after Wu Lei’s departure. We didn’t buy new players this year, which means the team has to be more united to achieve good results.”
SIPG is surely not contented with just one title in 2019. Their journey of defending the CSL title will start on March 1 when they take on city rival Greenland Shenhua at Hongkou Football Stadium.
“It will be a difficult clash,” said Pereira. “But after coaching the team for a year, I know we can handle all these matches. Today we shall celebrate the Super Cup victory. Maybe from tomorrow I will start to prepare for the (CSL) match.”
“We controlled the ball and pace in the majority of the match and created a lot of good chances,” said Beijing manager Roger Schmidt. “But football is about results. It’s a pity that we couldn’t convert our advantage into victory.”