Chinese Super League: Elkeson seizes top spot on all-time scoring list
So Guangzhou Evergrande's win over Beijing Guoan was a total team effort, but as noted, the game was quite special for Elkeson, who recently changed his nationality from Brazilian to Chinese, and celebrated by moving to the top of the CSL goal-scoring list. Damion Jones has the details.
The stakes of Sunday night's Chinese Super League showdown at Workers Stadium -- on full display from the outset -- as a summer high crowd of more than 57,000 fans cram in, to see whether Beijing Guoan can push past their recent troubles, or if Guangzhou Evergrande will extend their winning streak to a baker's dozen.
ELKESON GUANGZHOU EVERGRANDE FORWARD "This was an excellent result, because we all know that it's so difficult to win at Beijing's Workers Stadium. In the first half, we had a period where our performance was not really good, but after the break, when our coach made some adjustments, we found our rhythm again."
Elkeson and the visitors flock to Paulinho's side to show early appreciation after the former Barcelona midfielder puts Guangzhou ahead 1-0 in the game's 10th minute. But Zhang Yuning pulls Beijing level just seven minutes later, and the momentum looks to be on the side of the hosts.
ZHANG YUNING BEIJING GUOAN FORWARD "In terms of this game's outcome, I think the most important thing is that we did not pay enough attention to some key details, so we lost some opportunities. But now it's useless to dwell on that since the match is over."
Elkeson's big moment arrives seven minutes after the break, as the 30-year-old notches his 103rd goal in 153 CSL matches, over the last six and a half seasons, breaking a tie with former Shanghai SIPG running mate Wu Lei, to become the Super League's all-time scoring leader.
ELKESON CSL'S ALL-TIME LEADER WITH 103 GOALS "I am very happy that I can break the record set by Wu Lei, and I received lots of congratulations from my teammates in the locker room. This is my seventh year in China, and I'm always welcomed by the fans, no matter which club I play for, and no matter which away stadium I visit. So I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my supporters."
And while Yang Liyu's strike in the 59th minute wraps a bow on a 3-1 victory that increases Evergrande's lead over Guoan to seven points in the CSL standings, Elkeson could soon be going somewhere that no footballer without a trace of Chinese ancestry, has ever gone before.
DAMION JONES BEIJING "Earlier this year, Li Ke, who was born and raised in the United Kingdom as Nico Yennaris, became the first naturalized player to suit up for China's national team. Now Elkeson has a chance to join him, after switching citizenship from his native Brazil, with the aim of helping the PRC qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup."
No official indication has been given that Marcello Lippi might invite Elkeson to join the squad during next month's international break, but the Italian coach's Chinese roster has already made history with the addition of Li, and many Guangzhou fans in particular, hope the CSL's new career scoring leader will be called upon as well, while also trying to help his club lift an eighth Super League trophy, in the last nine campaigns. DJ, CGTN, Beijing.