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2017 Chinese Super League
  • Nikica Jelavic (54' PEN)
  • James Chamanga (14' PEN)
  • Shi Xiaotian (65')

Nikica Jelavic scores penalty to earn point for Guizhou Zhicheng

Nikica Jelavic's penalty earned Guizhou Zhicheng a share of the points with Liaoning Whowin on Friday evening, but the opening game of the 2017 Chinese Super League was more notable for being played in front of an empty stadium.

After all the hype of the transfer window, there were no fans on hand to witness former Everton and Hull City striker Jelavic cancel out James Chamanga's 14th minute penalty as Liaoning held on for the final 25 minutes with just 10 men.

Liaoning goalkeeper Shi Xiaotian had been sent off for a second bookable offence, with midfielder Wang Hao going in goal and Jelavic missed a great chance late in the game to take all three points.

The Croatian forward, however, skied his effort high over the bar, but there was no one in the Guiyang Olympic Sports Centre stadium to witness the horrendous miss after the home side were barred from selling tickets for the game by the Chinese Football Association.

Guizhou were handed a one-game fan ban by the governing body after a pitch invasion late in the club's final home game of last season against Tianjin Quanjian, meaning the kick off of the most eagerly awaited Chinese Super League season was a major anticlimax.

"It's not easy to get a point from an away game like this," Liaoning coach Ma Lin said. "I'm very satisfied with my players' fighting spirit.

"To be honest, Guizhou were the better team but they were very bad at executing. Our problem was that our team is too young to play at their full potential. They're not comfortable enough to make passes and keep possession. We need time."

Chinese Super League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Guangzhou Evergrande 27 +37 63
2 Shanghai SIPG 27 +32 62
3 Beijing Sinobo Guoan 27 +29 61
4 Shandong Luneng Taishan 27 +17 45
5 Jiangsu Suning 27 +14 44
6 Wuhan Zall 27 -1 38
7 Chongqing Lifan 27 -6 36
8 Tianjin Teda 27 -5 35
9 Dalian Yifang 27 -5 34
10 Henan Jianye 27 -7 34
11 Guangzhou R&F 27 -13 32
12 Shanghai Shenhua 27 -8 30
13 Hebei China Fortune FC 27 -17 29
14 Tianjin Quanjian 27 -14 22
15 Shenzhen FC 27 -17 20
16 Beijing Renhe 27 -36 13