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Jbc's Pentagon Challenge

Hoping to complete my first pentagon and thought it would be fun to share the journey!
Started on 30 May 2020 by Jbc199923
Latest Reply on 3 September 2020 by Jbc199923
Tianjin TEDA – Club 2 – Season 3 – Update 1

Welcome back to season three with Tianjin TEDA! Let have a look at the transfer business that I have done over the winter window before we see how we are going to get on in the Champions League group stage.

We haven’t done a massive amount of business this winter as I didn’t feel like we needed to. The main bit of news is that Amaral has now left the club after just 6 months as he wasn’t happy with starting most games on the bench. This has allowed me to sign another foreign player that I will introduce you to first.

Our new foreign player is Kim Sang-Hoon, a South Korean midfielder who will be our new go to midfield substitute. We also cannot register all of our foreign players for the Champions League as we can only have 4 (and at least 1 from Asian) so he will be our Asian Champions League player with Ibanez missing out on the squad.

The only other transfer of note is Chen Yun who has joined as another back-up midfielder. He is a Chinese international and will add some real depth in the middle of the park.

We have also competed the permanent signing of Li Qi from Shanghai following his exceptional loan spell with us last year.

We have been handed a very tough Champions League group this season with Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea), Brisbane Roar (Australia) and Muangthong Utd (Thailand) making up our group. Both Ulsan and Brisbane are very strong teams so we will need to pick up some results against them if we are going to progress.

Our first game was probably our hardest of the group as we travelled to South Korea to face Ulsan Hyundai. The game couldn’t really have gone any worse as Ulsan’s 4-3-3 formation with 3 strikers dominated our back line and we conceded 4 goals in a crazy 11 minute spell (and also scored one), before conceding another on the stroke of half time to find ourselves trailing 5-1. I tried some tactical switches and we were much improved in the second half, but could still only draw the second half 1-1 to lose 6-2 overall. An embarrassing result that really gave me something to think about going into the rest of the group.

Our second group game was at home to Brisbane Roar in a must win game. We looked much improved in this game with Ma Jin getting a brace inside the first half and hour. Brisbane did manage to grab a late consolation goal, but the 3 points were massive for our hopes of progression.

The last two games we have played were our first league game of the season, away to Guizhou (a 4-0 win) and our away game to Muangthong Utd in Thailand. We struggled to create chances in the first half but eventually our quality showed and we ran out 2-0 winners.

Our two wins and one defeat leave us in 3rd place in our group after Brisbane picked up a shock win over Ulsan which could prove to be a terrible result for us. It looks like Muangthong are likely to lose every game in the group so we are going to have to win against either Ulsan or Brisbane if we are going to progress.

I am very happy with our squad going into this season and I think we should be looking to win the league this season as we comfortably have one of the best squads in China. Unfortunately, I think we are already up against it in our Champions League group and I think we might struggle to progress unless we can really up our game.

*My next update will be the first few months of the season as we look to start our league season well and try and progress through our Champions League group. Let me know where you think we will finish this season! Thanks for reading!*
A great signing in Qi. He was fantastic for you as you say and will be welcomed back by fans with great fondness.

The Champions League group is looking very close at the moment. A very tough loss against Ulsan has been responded to well and the Super League season has began in quite unbelievable style. What a win!
Tianjin TEDA – Club 2 – Season 3 – Update 2

After our first experience of the Champions League in China, where we didn’t get off to the best start, it is time to see how we started our title charge this year.

After our 4-0 win in our first game I was hoping to replicate this and get an early lead this season. Unfortunately, our next 4 games produced 3 draws and 1 defeat, once again throwing away a 2-0 lead in a home game against Shandong. We also had 30 shots in this game with Shandong only having 2 which makes it even more annoying!

We did manage to secure a crucial win over rivals and reigning champions Beijing to get us back on track, before a crucial game at home to Ulsan in the Champions league. Fortunately for us they decided against playing the 4-3-3 system that tore us apart in the previous game, instead opting for a 4-2-3-1 which suited us better and we were able to secure a point with a late goal from Rafaelzinho. Unfortunately, this meant that we would at least have to get a draw away in Australia and hope results went our way if we were going to progress beyond the group stage.

Fortunately, our league form did pick up following our win over Beijing and we managed to secure another win over Jiangsu Suning (3-1), before a 0-0 draw against Wuhan Zall and a final win over Tianhai. This was the most satisfying as we had dominated the game, but just couldn’t quite find the breakthrough until we won a 95th minute penalty which was dispatched by Ma Jin.

A decent run of results overall and still only 1 defeat in the league so far, however with 4 draws we have won less than half of our opening 9 games which isn’t title winning form.

We do at least find ourselves in 3rd place with no teams having a particularly outstanding start to the year. Additionally, we have already play, and got results against, both Beijing (2nd) and Guangzhou (4th), which will hopefully give us an advantage.

And in the Champions League we remain in 3rd place with our draw against Ulsan which makes progression very difficult if we fail to beat Brisbane. A defeat in that game and Ulsan inevitably beating Muangthong will mean we are eliminated, and even if we draw we still have to rely on Brisbane defeating Ulsan which I think is unlikely.

Squad performance
A decent start to the season for both goalscorers with both Ma Jin and Rafaelzinho scoring 7 goals from 13 appearance. Gojak has started the season well again and already has 5 goals to his name from midfield. Niu Shuai has also impressed in the attacking midfield role with 4 assists so far, joint top with Wang Zhiquan, our backup right back, who has been filling in for the injured Tang Hui.

Overall, we could have started the league better, but we are definitely still in the title race so I can’t be too upset. The Champions League on the other hand is looking very difficult and we virtually have to win against Brisbane Roar which will be the first game of the next update.

*The next update will take us towards the half way mark of the season as well as bringing the Champions League group stage to a close. Thanks for reading!
A common trend is emerging with a high volume of draws. You need to try and turn them into wins; sounds simple in theory, I know. :P

The Brisbane Roar game will be one of the biggest of your career thus far. Good luck!
2020-06-30 16:02#275267 ScottT : A common trend is emerging with a high volume of draws. You need to try and turn them into wins; sounds simple in theory, I know. :P

The Brisbane Roar game will be one of the biggest of your career thus far. Good luck!

I wish it was as easy as it sounds!! Still can't believe that we drew 2-2 with Shandong after being 2-0 when we had 30 shots and they only had 2!!
Tianjin TEDA – Club 2 – Season 3 – Update 3

After a mediocre start to the season in the last update our Champions League hopes hung by a thread going into our first game of this update – away in Australia.

Our first game was arguably one of the biggest in my career so far, particularly with Tianjin TEDA as we travelled away to face Brisbane Roar in a must win clash. Going into the game we know a win will put us through into the knockout stages (providing we beat whipping boys Muangthong Utd in our final game), however a draw would mean that we would rely on Ulsan losing at home to Brisbane in the final round of games which looked unlikely, and defeat would mean elimination.

And with that knowledge we took the lead on 11 minutes after a good start by us, however the goal seemed to wake Brisbane up and they roared (pardon the pun) into the 3-1 lead just 10 minutes later. Stand-in left back Zhu Junzhu scored his first goal for the club to provide us with some hope as we reached half time 3-2 behind, but Brisbane proved too strong in the second half as we chased the game and were hit with two perfectly executed counter attacking goals to end the game 5-2. A massive disappointment, but not a shock it has to be said. Considering we have now conceded 5 goals in two group games it was always looking unlikely that we would be able to progress beyond the group stage.

Now that our Champions League dream was over for another year we could focus our attentions on progression in the cup and pushing up the league table instead. And I thought we had started well as we led 1-0 at home to Hebei, however we threw away 2 points with a 93rd minute equaliser which was very annoying.

We followed that up with 2 cup games, both victories as we progressed into the quarter finals, before playing our Champions league game against Muangthong Utd in a dead rubber of a game.

After our final Champions League game we secured another 7 points from our final 3 games of May to catapult us up the league table. Amazingly, we have only lost one game in our last 8, which was against Brisbane Roar, even though our performances haven’t been that great.

After a decent run in the league with 8 points from 4 games we now find ourselves top of the league as we approach the half way mark in the season. It is still very tight at the top so I’m not taking anything for granted just yet, however if we can pick up our performances a little and turn some of our draws into wins then we will be in a really good position.

Squad performance
Ma Jin has had a much better start to the season this year and already has 11 goals in 20 starts for far. Rafaelzinho has also had a decent start to the year with 9 goals so far and Niu Shuai has quietly been performing very well in his attacking midfield role and now has 7 assists so far.

Overall, a decent couple of months and we now top the league table. Obviously, very disappointing to go out of the Champions League at the group stage, however I think that I am now a lot more prepared to take it on next season, should we get there.

*My next update will be our next run of games as our attention turns to our title challenge. Thanks for reading!*
A tough loss to take in the Champions League but as you mentioned at least you'll likely be in a better position to take it on next season. A good run of results aside from the loss against Brisbane too. The league table makes for good reading but there is still plenty of work to do.
Nobody seems to be really pushing into the next gear in the league this season and that could be massive for you and your title hopes. With the Champions League now being over, you really could take advantage and claim the league come the end of the season!
2020-07-01 19:57#275362 TheLFCFan : Nobody seems to be really pushing into the next gear in the league this season and that could be massive for you and your title hopes. With the Champions League now being over, you really could take advantage and claim the league come the end of the season!

Very true! With everyone else being so inconsistent, if we can keep up our form in the league then we could have a real chance!
Tianjin TEDA – Club 2 – Season 3 – Update 4

After we moved to the top of the league in the last update, we have now been tasked with cementing our position, as well as hopefully progressing in the cup.

Our first game was our cup quarter final against newly promoted Meizhou Hakka who were having a great season and found themselves in 5th place. I was anticipating a tough game, but our quality showed through as we progressed to the semi-finals with a nervy 1-0 victory, where we would face Guizhou Hengfeng.

Our attention then returned to our league form as we faced some tough games against Shanghai, Dalian Pro. Although Shanghai have a very good squad, they were languishing in 12th place going into the game so I was confident that our superior form would see us through, and it did with a comfortable 2-0 away win. A massive game against second place Dalian Professional followed and we came away with a decent 0-0 draw which means we remain in top spot.

After those difficult games it was key that we picked up a good haul of points against some of the lesser teams in the league and we did just that with a 4-0 win over Shandong with Ma Jin scoring a hat trick, followed up with a 3-0 win over our semi final opponents Guizhou and a 3-1 win over Qingdao.

Our final game of the update was away to Guangzhou and we romped to a massive 4-0 victory with another hattrick from Ma Jin and a 4th from Rafaelzinho.

Another good run of games in this update as we have dropped just 2 points in our 6 games as well as keeping an amazing 5 clean sheets.

After those results, we have managed to open up a 2 point gap at the top of the league with 11 games to go. We have also only lost one game this season which is great considering our poor performance in the Champions League. I think we now have to go on an win the league now given that we only have the cup as a distraction.

Squad performance
There is really only one player to talk about in the squad right now and that is Ma Jin. Below you can see his last 4 games, in which he has scored 3 hattricks and a brace. His amazing form has seen him score 12 goals in 7 games since the last update.

Rafaelzinho has been a bit of the pace for my liking as he is now only on 12 goals. Considering his great season last year I would like him to be on around 18 goals at this point, but how can I complain when Ma Jin is performing so well!

Niu Shuai has continued to perform reasonably well and now has 9 assists this season. I also have to say that our midfield trio haven’t been quite as good this year which is amazing considering how much better we are playing, but I don’t think we would be in this position without such a strong base in the middle.

Overall, this period couldn’t have really gone much better as we have almost won every game, except for against Dalian Pro in second place. Like I said, we really have to be winning the league from this position, and given our cup opponents I think we have a decent chance at winning that as well this year – could a double be on the cards this year?

*My next update will be covering the cup sem-final as well as our next few league games as we look to extend our lead at the top of the league. Let me know where you think we will finish! Thanks for reading!*
This could be the year! Form looks to be consistent after a few too many draws which are now being turned into wins.
Despite Rafaelzinho not scoring at the same rate as last season, with Ma Jin scoring as many as he is it doesn't matter. You seem to be able to brush teams aside and you look very strong so far this season. I think the title is on!
Tianjin TEDA – Club 2 – Season 3 – Update 5

A good run last time out has left us in pole position to go on and win the league this season, as we also have a good chance of completing the double as we have reached the Chinese FA Cup semi-final which we will be competing in in todays update.

Our first game of this run of fixtures was a massive game away to second placed Beijing Guoan. W win would open up our lead at the top to 5 points, however defeat would see us fall 1 point behind Beijing – a real title 6 pointer!

We started in the worst possible way, falling 1-0 down to Beijing with Pedrinho, who always seems to score against us, finding the net. However, a crucial goal on the stroke of half time from Ma Jin turned the game in our favour, and just after the break Saeter slotted home to make it 2-1 and hand us all 3 points. After this game I really felt that this was our year, now we just need to keep up this form.

However, our next game saw us drop 2 points in a 0-0 draw to Changchun Yatai, although I did rotate the team slightly as our cup semi-final was being played just 3 days later.

And the rotation seemed to be effective as we eventually secured a close 1-0 win over Guizhou Hengfeng away from home with a rare goal from young striker Ge Mo, who had been handed a starting place after Rafaelzinho picked up a slight knock in the previous game.

The victory obviously means we progress into the Chinese FA Cup final, where we will face a two legged tie against Shanghai SIPG who have been fairly poor this year in the league, so I would expect us to bring home the cup later this year.

With a cup final place secured our attentions turned back to the league. All 9 of our remaining league fixtures take place before both legs of the cup final, which is definitely beneficial in terms of where our focus lies. And following our cup success I was hopeful that we could use the momentum to extend our lead at the top of the table over the next few games. And we started with a crazy fixture at home to Jiangsu Suning that finished in a 6-4 victory! An early goal, against from cup hero Ge Mo put us into the lead, but by the 51st minute we were 3-1 down before a fantastic turnaround, with Rafaelzinho scoring 2 goals in 7 minutes and another goal 8 minutes later from Gojak to make it 4-3. However we weren’t done there as Rafaelzinho completed his hat trick on 86 minutes, before another goal from Jiangsu to make it 5-4, and there was still time for centre back Zhu Chenjie to grab a 96th header to round off the game at 6-4.

Clearly exhausted by the excitement of the last game we fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat away to TIanhai, although we returned to form with back-to-back wins over Wuhan Zall (3-1) and Meizhou Hakka (4-0), before another high-scoring affair against Hebei.

Again we took an early lead, this time through Saeter, however we capitalised on the early goal this time and scored a further 3 goals before half time (Gojak and Ma Jin (2)). Hebei did get one goal back shortly after the break, however further goals from Raaelzinho and a second from Saeter put us 6-1 up before a late consolation to make it 6-2.

Those results mean that we have once again had a decent run of results, with 5 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat in our 7 league games this update.

And those results, accompanied by a poor run from our fellow challengers means we have opened up a massive 7 point gap with just 4 games to play! Additionally, we do still have Dalian Pro to play on the final day of the season. It looks like my second league title as a manager could be on its way…

Squad performance
Unsurprisingly, Ma Jin has slowed down his goal scoring rate since he last update, however he has still scored another 5 goals in 8 games meaning he now has 28 goals in all competitions this season. Rafaelzinho has also found a bit of form and now has 17 goals this season which is a much better return.

And after saying our midfielders were not as good as last season, all three have put in a real shift in recent games with Gojak and Saeter both finding the net on multiple occasions.

Some bad news to end the update on is that Hu Shuo, our goalkeeper and the Chinese number 1 has just broken his foot in training and will miss the rest of the season as well as the cup final. I’m hoping that this won’t cost us either the league of cup but only time will tell.

Overall, another great update and we now look like we are well on our way to our first league title in China. And with the Chinese FA Cup final to come as well we could be looking at a domestic double in just our second full season at the club.

*Make sure you come back tomorrow to find out if we can secure the league and cup double! Thanks for reading!*
Yes! Looking very promising!
Losing Hu could be massive considering the goalkeeping rules in China. I hope it doesn't have much of an effect on the run in!

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