China's most expensive soccer import shines on debut

Updated: 2011-07-15 11:21


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China's most expensive soccer import shines on debut
Dario Conca of Guangzhou Evergrande celebrates his goal against Nanchang Hengyuan at Tianhe Sports Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong province, July 14, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

GUANGZHOU - Argentine midfielder Dario Conca, the most expensive player in the Chinese Super League (CSL) so far, scored on his debut for hosts Guangzhou Evergrande and inspired the 5-0 win over Nanchang Hengyuan here on Thursday night.

Guangzhou, the current League leaders, paid a CSL record of $10 million transfer fee to Brazilian soccer club Fluminense for the 28-year-old midfielder recently.

The three-and-a-half-year contract is believed to be worth 7 million dollars per year.

Conca, who arrived here earlier this week, made a flying debut with a super goal and Messi-like tricks in Thursday's match.

Guangzhou widened their lead to 9 points in the CSL table as the closest follower Beijing Guo'an was held an away goalless tie with Hangzhou Greentown.

Left winger Wu Pingfeng opened the scoring for Guangzhou in the 23rd minute following a series of wall-ties, gifting the home side a comfortable 1-0 lead at the interval.

Conca stepped onto the field in the break. About 50,000 fans cheered "Conca-Conca" with tidal waves. Then, the 10-million-dollar star went back to the bench, only to see Cleo and Muriqui score each in the first five minutes in the second half.

The fans waited not too long until Conca replaced injured Cleo in the 60th minute, starting an impressive "Conca time". Conca didn't need any time to get familiar with the field, unleashing a thunderbolt 38-meter-long shot and leaving the opponents' keeper no reaction at all.

Despite the super goal, Conca's pinpoint passes and the Messi-like breaking-through techniques not only amused the fans, but constantly breathed life into Guangzhou's attacking system, and helped Jiang Ning score just before the final whistle.

"He is a man who knows football", these words from Guangzhou's coach Lee Jang-Soo would be the perfect remark of his debut, which would only be the prelude of his high-expecting career in China.