Bakambu steals spotlight as Beijing Guoan tie Shandong Luneng 1-1 in CAF Cup final
Xinhua 2018-11-28 13:40:00
BEIJING, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Beijing Guoan's hitman Cedric Bakambu played hero and villain as the capital-based side managed to draw Shandong Luneng 1-1 in the first leg of Chinese Football Association (CFA) Cup final here on Sunday.
The visitors broke the deadlock in the 30th minute when Diego Tardelli converted a penalty, which was awarded due to Bakambu's handball.
Guoan got it back on level terms as Bakambu atoned for his error by converting a spot-kick just five minutes after the interval when VAR was used to award a penalty for Gil's handball in the box.
Luneng won the CFA Cup title five times in history while Beijing Guoan had three. The winners of the tournament could secure a spot in the AFC Champions League automatically.
Beijing Guoan opted for a 4-4-2 formation with Brazilian international Renato Augusto pulling the strings. Luneng's regular goalkeeper Wang Dalei was not fit enough to start, and Han Tongue was called into action.
Luneng almost found the net just six minutes into the game, but Guoan goalkeeper Hou Sen stuck out a foot to parry Wu Xinghan's effort from a close range. And at the other end Bakambu also forced a find save from Han Tongue.
Luneng's clearance turned into an assist for Augusto, but his curler rattled the woodwork in the 27th minute. Bakambu's angled drive hit the upright again before the half-time.
Luneng's penalty appeal was denied by the VAR and moments later Graziano Pelle's header was cleared off the line by Yu Dabao. Luneng missed a last-gasp chance when substitute Zhou Haibin's header smacked against the post.
The second lege will take place on Nov. 30.