In a gripping encounter at home, Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo’s misfortune from the penalty spot added to the woes of Changchun Yatai, as they suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Guangzhou R and F on Saturday. The loss marks the fourth consecutive winless outing for Changchun Yatai in the new season of the Chinese Super League (CSL), positioning them 14th in the 16-team table with a mere two points.
The pivotal moment of the match came in the 12th minute when Ighalo, fresh from his appearances with the national team in friendly matches against Poland and Serbia, failed to convert from the penalty spot. Despite this setback, Changchun Yatai managed to seize the lead in the 61st minute through Xiaofei Zhang. However, their advantage was short-lived as Eran Zahavi netted an equalizer for Guangzhou R and F in the 78th minute.
In the dying moments of the game, tensions escalated further as Changchun Yatai’s Rui Yu received a red card, leaving the team with a numerical disadvantage. A dramatic turn of events unfolded in the 97th minute when Guangzhou R and F were awarded a penalty, expertly converted by Renatinho after a foul by Yu, who was already dismissed.
Changchun Yatai had a golden opportunity to salvage a draw when they too were awarded a penalty in the 99th minute. However, Zhenyu Du failed to capitalize, sealing their fate in the closely contested match. The result underscores Changchun Yatai’s struggle in the early stages of the CSL, with two defeats and two draws in four league games.