China · Sports

Guangzhou Evergrande goes for Asian glory tonight

I know many people don’t care or know about Chinese football, but today is a big, big day. Guangzhou Evergrande will play the first leg of the finals of the Asian Champions League against FC Seoul tonight, the first time in 15 years that a Chinese team is in the finals. Evergrande (恆大) have already won the Chinese league this season, for the third time in a row. They reached the ACL finals in stunning manner, pounding Qatari and Japanese opposition by similar 6-1 and 8-1 aggregate scores. One can liken them to Bayern Munich in last year’s European Champions League. If you’re wondering if there’s anything special about Evergrande to have made them so formidable, it’s that they have three talented South Americans who just can’t stop scoring, a bunch of Chinese internationals, and are coached by Italian Marcello Lippi, who only won a World Cup in 2006 as manager of his country (in addition to the European Champions League and other honors). The first leg is in Seoul and the return leg will be in Guangzhou. i don’t regret coming to Beijing at all, but at least on that day I’ll wish I was in Guangzhou. I wrote about Evergrande and the ACL final earlier this week here. Here’s hoping for a good result tonight for Guangzhou. Hengda 恆大, jia you 加由!

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