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Chinese Super League

Beijing Guoan Jose Gonzalez the latest Chinese Super League coaching casualty

Portuguese boss lasts just over six months as Friday’s 1-0 defeat by Chongqing Lifan sees former champions slip to fifth defeat of the season

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 June, 2017, 11:48am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 June, 2017, 12:02am

Jose Gonzalez became the second Chinese Super League coaching casualty this week with Friday’s 1-0 defeat by Chongqing Lifan costing the Portuguese coach his job after just over six months in charge as former champions Beijing Guoan slumped to a fifth defeat in 12 games.

Wu Qing’s first-time finish from inside the penalty area after just six minutes at Chongqing Olympic Sports Centre was enough to hand 2009 champions Beijing a third defeat in their last five domestic outings.

Beijing eventually finished the match with just nine men as both Li Hanbo and Zhang Xizhe were sent-off inside the final 15 minutes, and soon after the final whistle, president Zhou Jinhui confirmed the news of Gonzalez’s departure.

“Our team is having the most difficult time now, we have to make changes,” said Zhou after Jiangsu Suning coach Choi Yong-soo quit on Thursday after seeing his Super League strugglers exit the AFC Champions League a day earlier.

“I believe this is the darkness before the dawn. The difficulties are temporary and we have the courage and capability to take our responsibility.”

Watch: Beijing Guoan 0-1 Chongqing Lifan highlights

The latest defeat leaves Beijing in seventh place in the table, 13 points behind leaders Guangzhou Evergrande, a seemingly unacceptable position for a club now valued at US$807 million after Chinese real estate developer Sinobo Land bought 64 per cent of the club from financial services giant CITIC for US$514m earlier this year.

Gonzalez, who steered Granada away from relegation in the second half of the 2016 Spanish season, took over at the end of last season having previously worked as an assistant to former coach Gregorio Manzano.

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Elsewhere on Friday, Carlos Tevez was again unable to inspire Shanghai Shenhua as Gus Poyet’s side lost 2-1 to Tianjin Teda, while Guangzhou R&F shared a 1-1 draw with Henan Jianye.

Brown Ideye scored twice for Tianjin, including the 89th-minute winner, as Shenhua slipped to 12th in the table after extending their winless run in the Super League to five games.

Watch: Tianjin Teda 2-1 Shanghai Shenhua highlights

Argentinian Tevez was making his second consecutive appearance since returning to the side after nearly two months on the sidelines due to injury, but was unable to add to his solitary Super League goal this season.

“It’s hard for me to comment on this game now because we overcame many problems before the game and worked out the tactics, but our tactics were only carried out for 15 minutes,” said Poyet, who saw Obafemi Martins open the scoring for Shanghai after 11 minutes.

It’s not about the money for new Guizhou Zhicheng coach Gregorio Manzano, but US$8.8 million certainly helps

“After taking the lead, our morale should have been boosted, but we played very badly afterwards. I will take the blame, I have no excuse. The fans were there accompanying us and they didn’t deserve this.

“The fact is, this season is really hard for Shenhua. So many incidents happened and we also met many unpredictable moments, for example, some players were sent off and goals weren’t allowed.

Watch: Henan Jianye 1-1 Guangzhou R&F highlights

“I used the last substitution on an attacking player. It was a pity we conceded the second goal due to the lack of concentration. To be honest, I am very disappointed now.”

Guangzhou R&F had been the early season pacesetters in the Super League, but have now also not won in their last five games after Christian Bassogog’s stoppage-time strike forced Dragan Stojkovic’s side to settle for a fourth consecutive draw.