two weekends ago, that meant going up to see shanghai shenhua take on bitter rivals (and regining csl champs) beijing guo’an in a game at hongkou stadium.
the game was sloppy (wet grass, everyone was sliding) but super exciting. 3 goals in the first 12 minutes as guo’an went up very early, but shenhua put in 3 in a row before the half and then in the 2nd half one of guo’an’s australian imports nailed this cracking goalazo off a left footed volley from 25 yards out, which made for a nervous final 12 minutes.
but the tickets were cheap (45 rmb from the scalpers), the evening was a fun time, and despite the cynicism of most of my chinese friends about the poor quality of play in the csl, along with the corruption – i would gladly go up again.
plus the fans. the shenhua ultras and the other supporter groups – vs. the traveling party of several hundred guo’an fans seated in the upper deck – it was fantastic. the flag waving, singing and, frankly speaking, vulgar anti-beijing chants really encapsulated what a fun fanbase in sports is all about.