CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE: Mikel’s Tianjin Teda Escapes Relegation by Whiskers

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*Ighalo’s Changchun Yatai not so lucky, relegated

Despite their 5-1 away loss to Guangzhou Evergrande, John Mikel Obi’s Tianjin Teda escaped relegation yesterday as only Odion Ighalo’s Changchun Yatai joined the already relegated Guizhou Hengfeng.

Ighalo netted 21 goals for Changchun Yatai this season after he scored 15 in the previous campaign.

Changchun Yatai ended the 30-match week series with 32 points just like Mikel’s Tianjin Teda and Chongqing Lifan.

Incidentally, all the three clubs lost their last matches. But Mikel’s Tianjin Teda and Chongqing Lifan escaped relegation owing to better head-to-head records with Changchun Lifan.

Prior to Sunday’s matches, the four teams above were in the relegation zone with an identical 32 points, and the losers between Changchun and Dalian would face more risks of becoming the second and last team to be relegated after Guizhou Hengfeng were already doomed with two rounds to go.

In their do-or-die match, the visiting Changchun missed their best chance in the beginning of the first half, as Dane international Lasse Vibe hit the wood.

A header from Duvier Riascos, top scorer of the 2010-2011 China Super League season, broke the deadlock in the 21st minute for Dalian who made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute when Belgian Yannick Ferreira Carrasco also found the net.

The 2-0 victory ensured Dalian to remain in the first tier league in China with 35 points.

Also yesterday, Tianjin visited China Super League defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande and broke the deadlock first in the first half, before Guangzhou scored five goals later on for a season record of 82 goals.

Chongqing lost to Guizhou 1-0 and completed the season with 32 points, the same as both Tianjin and Changchun.

Elsewhere, Beijing Renhe tied Guangzhou R&F 0-0, Hebei China Fortune beat Beijing Guoan 2-1, Jiangsu Suning whitewashed Henan Jianye 4-0, Shanghai Greenland drew Shandong Luneng 2-2, and Tianjin Quanjian downed newly-crowned Shanghai SIPG 3-2.