Adrian Mierzejewski (4th R) of Chongqing Dangdai celebrates his goal with teammates during the 13th round match between Chongqing Dangdai and Shijiazhuang Ever Bright at the postponed 2020 season Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) Suzhou Division in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, Sept. 25, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Bo)
SUZHOU, China, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- With a hat-trick from Polish midfielder Adrian Mierzejewski, Chongqing Lifan cruised into the championship race after a 4-1 victory over Shijiazhuang Ever Bright in the 13th round of the Chinese Super League (CSL) here on Friday.
Prior to the game, both sides needed a victory to secure them a top four berth with only two games left in the Suzhou division.
Chongqing posed more of a threat than Shijiazhuang after the game started. After the goalie saved brilliantly from midfielder Chen Jie's long-range shot in the fifth minute, Chongqing got another corner kick and an accurate cross from right-back Jiang Zhe, helping Adrian to score at close range to make it 1-0.
About 10 minutes later, Chongqing enlarged the lead as Brazilian forward Fernandinho Silva cut in from the left, assisting his fellow peer Alan Kardec to make it 2-0 in the first half.
Chongqing nearly scored their third before the break when Fernandinho got an exquisite pass from Adrian, but his shot hit the post.
Forward Deng Ziming had injected new energy for Shijiazhuang in the second half. Goalkeeper Deng Xiaofei was sent off in the 46th minute after receiving a second yellow card, and Zambian defender Stoppila Sunzu converted the penalty kick for Shijiazhuang to pull one back.
Adrian scored his second and third in the 72nd minute and in stoppage time respectively, helping Chongqing to seal the victory.
With the win, Chongqing pocketed five straight wins to rank third with 21 points, while Shijiazhuang dropped to the fifth with 17 points, four points behind the fourth-placed Hebei China Fortune, and had no chance to enter the top four with only one game left in the division. Enditem