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Soccer: Bakambu double means Beijing close gap on leaders Shanghai Port

·2-min read

By Michael Church

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Beijing Guoan pulled themselves back to within two points of the top of Group B of the Chinese Super League on Tuesday as Cedric Bakambu's brace earned Slaven Bilic's side a 2-1 win over Wuhan FC.

The Congolese striker scored twice in the first-half to give Beijing the advantage and, although Jean Kouassie pulled one back for Wuhan midway through the second half, Bilic's team held on for the win.

The result moved Beijing into fourth in the standings on 17 points, two behind leaders Shanghai Port after the 2018 champions slipped to a 2-1 loss against Changchun Yatai.

Lu Wenjun had given Port the lead 10 minutes into the second half but a brace from former Jeonbuk Hyundai striker Junior Negrao in the 80th and 85th minutes earned Changchun all three points.

That meant Chen Yang's team pulled level on 19 points with Port while Hebei FC missed the chance to go top when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Shanghai Shenhua.

Dalian Pro, meanwhile, moved off the bottom of the group with a 3-1 win over Tianjin Tigers, who replaced Dalian in last place.

Teams in this year's Chinese Super League have been split into two groups of eight with matches played in biosecure hubs in Guangzhou and Suzhou in an effort to limit cross-country travel during the pandemic.

The top four teams in each group advance to the championship round while the bottom four will feature in the relegation playoffs.

Shandong Taishan now lead Group A after handing Qingdao FC a 5-0 thrashing on Monday as Shenzhen FC slipped to a 1-0 loss against Guangzhou City.

Hao Wei's team hold a three point advantage over Shenzhen and eight-time champions Guangzhou FC, who cruised a 5-2 win over Cangzhou Mighty Lions as Ricardo Goulart hit a hat-trick.

Fifth-placed Henan Longmen managed to keep the top four in sight with a 1-0 win against Chongqing Athletic.

Matches in the group phase of the competition are scheduled to continue until Aug. 12 with the championship and playoff rounds slated to begin on Dec. 1.

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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