Junior Urso (center) is the hero for Guangzhou R&F's latest win in the Chinese Super League. (Photo : Twitter)
Guangzhou R&F maintained its clean streak in the Chinese Super League after beating Changchun Yatai 1-0 on Sunday.
Brazilian striker Junior Urso scored the only goal in the game after getting through an intense defense made by Changchun, the Daily Mail reported. The win is their second straight this season after defeating Tianjin Quantian during their opening match.
Guangzhou manager Dragan Stojkovic admitted that the game was a tough one for them, noting that they had a bit of a hard time, with their opponents pressing on with a tight defense. He also said that they had to contend with the not so great condition of the field that day.
But Stojkovic remained proud of the performance displayed by his players, saying that they had shown a great desire to win the match and were able to push through with it.
Changchun had the chance to take the lead in the game but Nigerian Odion Ighalo failed to convert a penalty kick just three minutes before Urso picked up the lead for Guangdong.
The victory meant that Guangzhou now shares the lead with maximum points in the season alongside Shanghai SIPG and Shandong Luneng. Shanghai has already won its fifth game in a row on Friday, winning against Yanbian Funde.
On the other hand, defending champion Guangzhou Evergrande suffered its first loss at the hands of Shandong.
Meanwhile, Stojkovic also commented on the practices made by other teams regarding their under-23 players. He noted that some resorted to switching players early in order to go around the new rules on young players.
In January, the Chinese Football Association introduced new rules requiring teams to field at least one local player under the age of 23 in their starting lineup. The position was previously reserved for players of Asian descent.
Stojkovic said that some teams circumvent the rule by substituting for the young player early in their matches, ESPN FC reported. He stressed that, while he is not criticizing the actions made by other teams, his squad has been trying hard to abide by the regulations. He said that his under-23 players, such as Huang Zhengyu and Xiang Boxu, have all been given extensive playing times.