Chinese Super League

Nikica Jelavic earns Guizhou Zhicheng 1-1 draw with 10-man Liaoning Whowin in Chinese Super League opener

Croatian striker nets 54th-minute penalty at Guiyang Olympic Sports Centre to cancel out first half spot kick from Zambian frontman James Chamanga

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 March, 2017, 10:02pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 March, 2017, 4:16pm

Former West Ham United, Hull City, Everton and Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic netted a second-half penalty as newly-promoted Guizhou Zhicheng shared a 1-1 draw at home with 10-man Liaoning Whowin in Friday’s 2017 Chinese Super League opener.

Zambian striker James Chamanga opened the scoring for Liaoning at an empty Guiyang Olympic Sports Centre, after Guizhou were punished for crowd trouble in last season’s meeting with Tianjian Quanjian, with a 14th-minute penalty

But Croatian Jelavic earned the home side, who fielded Hong Kong’s Festus Baise for the entire 90 minutes, a point with a spot kick of his own six minutes before the hour mark.

Jelavic joined Guizhou ahead of the new season after netting 15 goals for Beijing Renhe in League One last season.

Liaoning survived playing the final 35 minutes playing with 10 men after goalkeeper Shi Xiaotian was sent off after upending a flying Jelavic as the striker charged through on goal after beating the offside trap.

Guizhou earned promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history by finishing second in League One last season, while Liaoning are former Asian champions who finished 11th in the Super League in 2016.

The season continues on Saturday as Shanghai SIPG and high-profile signing Oscar entertain Changchun Yatai, while Carlos Tevez’s Shanghai Shenhua and six-time defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande are in domestic action for the first time in 2017 on Sunday.