South China hold Evergrande to a 1-1 draw in Guangzhou friendly
The Caroliners hope their good form overseas will translate into a better domestic season with coach Casemiro Mior saying his club had done well against Asia’s best side
Striker Chan Siu-ki hopes South China’s overseas form will rub off on their domestic season after the Caroliners held AFC Champions League champions Evergrande to a 1-1 draw in Guangzhou on Saturday.
Against the run of play at the home of their multimillion-dollar Guangzhou rivals the Hong Kong international headed home a corner kick early in the second half before Zheng Long found the equaliser for the hosts.
“Evergrande gave us a lot pressure in a tough game, keeping us fully focused for 90 minutes, especially in defence,” said Chan.
“Although it’s only a training match, both sides treated it very seriously and it was a hard-earned result.
“We are not doing very well recently and hope the result against a top-class team from Asia can restore our confidence in domestic competitions.”
Evergrande are still in their pre season for the China Super League and the Asian club champions will embark on an overseas training camp in Dubai next week when their 42 million euro (HK$365 million) new signing, Jackson Martinez, joins them.
South China coach Casemiro Mior was a happy man after watching his side finished with a draw against one of the best teams in Asia.
“We had a solid performance against Evergrande who won almost everything last season in the mainland and the region as well,” he said.
“Every player gave it their very best on the pitch and put up a strong fight against their opponents.”
The coach singled out newly joint midfield playmaker Chu Siu-kei, who despite his advancing age of 35, had an excellent game. He played for almost 90 minutes before being replaced in the closing stages of the game.
“Chu and other newcomers such as Ryan Griffiths and Felix Borja Valencia played well and we hope they can blend in with the team as soon as possible,” said the coach.
The match was marred by ugly scenes after Evergrande found the equaliser as Chan Siu-ki blamed the referee for failing to award them a free kick before Zheng’s goal. Players from sides had heated verbal exchanges before Chan was also replaced.