Bakambu nets twice to rescue a draw for Guoan

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Cedric Bakambu (1st L) of Beijing Guoan heads in a goal during the 15th round match between Shandong Luneng and Beijing Guoan at 2020 season Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) Suzhou Division in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, Oct. 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

Cedric Bakambu scored twice in the second half to help Beijing Guoan draw 2-2 with Shandong Luneng in their first-leg encounter of the Chinese Super League on Saturday.

Italian international Graziano Pelle converted a penalty kick in the 25th minute, and Jin Jingdao found the net to give Shandong a 2-0 lead in the first half.

Bakambu stole the limelight after the break as the former Villarreal striker pulled one back for the Beijing side in the 48th minute with a penalty kick. He then headed in the equalizer off a cross from the left flank in the 69th minute.

Both sides will play the second leg next Thursday, with the winner advancing to the semifinals. The loser will play two more playoffs to decide its final position of the coronavirus-affected season.

The 16 CSL sides were split into two groups in the first phase between July 22 and September 28, playing in a round-robin format in Dalian and Suzhou.

The top four teams from each group in the first phase gathered in Suzhou to vie for the title between October 16 and November 12.

Meanwhile, the remaining eight teams play in Dalian. The last-placed finisher will be relegated directly to the second-tier League One while the second-to-last placed team faces a playoff against the League One runner-up.

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