2017 AFC Champions League, Group Stage
  • Ricardo Goulart (4' PEN)
  • Shangyuan Wang (22', 84')
  • Lisheng Liao (33', 47')
  • Alan Carvalho (65')
  • Paulinho (82')
  • Tsz Ho Wong (3')
  • Wong Chi-Chung (34')

Guangzhou Evergrande thrash nine-man Eastern SC in ACL opener

Eastern SC coach Chan Yuen Ting VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Hong Kong champions Eastern SC and their ground-breaking coach Chan Yuen-ting were dealt the harshest of lessons in their AFC Champions League debut on Wednesday night as two-time winners Guangzhou Evergrande handed out a cold-eyed 7-0 thrashing.

Liao Lisheng and Wang Shangyuan both registered twice while Ricardo Goulart opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Alan and Paulinho also netted as the six-time Chinese champions dealt ruthlessly with the luckless side from the former British colony.

Eastern, forced to play the majority of the game with just nine players after Wong Tze-ho and Wong Chi-chong were sent off inside the first 35 minutes, were run ragged from the first whistle, with Wong Tze-ho expelled with just three minutes on the clock.

Much had been made before the game of Chan being the first female coach to lead a team into the Champions League group stage. But there was little she, or any other coach, could have done as her team teetered on the brink of calamity in a luckless opening 45 minutes.

Eastern made a catastrophic start when Wong Tze-ho was sent off for handling Alan's goal-bound header on the line. Goulart made no mistake from the spot as he sent Yapp Hung-fai the wrong way.

Guangzhou poured forward, seemingly eager to make a statement ahead of the start of their Chinese Super League defence next week. Alan, Zhang Linpeng and Liao all took aim before Wang doubled the lead from close range midway through the half after Paulinho's glancing header across the face of goal was palmed into his path by Yapp.

Wong Chi-chong picked up his first booking when he handled the ball just inside the area to give Guangzhou a second penalty of the opening 25 minutes. But Alan saw his attempt from the spot kept out as Yapp guessed correctly, diving to his left.

However, it didn't take long for Liao to add the third for the home side 12 minutes before the break. Zheng Zhi's perfectly crafted pass released Goulart to cut the ball back into the Liao's path, and he scored with ease.

A needless second booking for Wong Chi-chong for tugging Gao Lin's shirt made an impossible task even more daunting for Eastern in the 34th minute. But goalkeeper Yapp's heroics between the posts in what remained of the half somehow prevented further damage from being inflicted.

Within two minutes of the restart, Liao claimed his second when he headed in from close range following clever play by Gao Lin. Then, midway through the half, Alan finally registered with a fine, curling right foot strike from outside the area that left Yapp flailing.

Guangzhou continued to look for more, even as Scolari protected his senior players by withdrawing Zheng and Gao well before the end, with Li Xuepeng rattling the crossbar from close range.

Paulinho eventually added Guangzhou's sixth, finishing a run across the face of goal with a perfect strike into the far corner. Soon after, Wang claimed his second of the night with another finish from inside the six-yard box as an exhausted Eastern begged to be put out of their misery.