China’s most expensive footballer Dario Conca scored on debut as Guangzhou Yiyao thrashed Nanchang Hengyuan 5-0 on Thursday. The Chinese Super League leaders were in imperious form on home soil as they welcomed their Argentine import, who arrived from Brazilian club Fluminense earlier this week.
Guangzhou paid a US$10 million transfer fee to secure the 28-year-old midfielder, breaking the CSL transfer record, and are believed to have handed Conca a deal worth an unprecedented US$7 million per year over three-and-a-half years.
Conca did not wait long to endear himself to his new fans at the Tianhe Stadium, finding the net in the 85th minute as Guangzhou romped to their biggest win of the season.
Midfielder Wu Pingfeng opened Guangzhou’s account in the 27th minute, their only goal of the first half giving little clue of what was to come in the second.
Cleo needed just three minutes to find the net after the restart, increasing his tally for the season to a joint league-leading 10. The Brazilian striker has scored in each of his past seven games.
Two minutes later it was 3-0 courtesy of Cleo’s compatriot Muriqui, who has scored nine in the current league campaign.
Conca made it 4-0 with his first goal in the Guangzhou shirt and Jiang Ning got on the scoresheet in injury time to complete the rout.
Guangzhou are yet to lose after 16 games this season and lead the CSL table with 40 points.
They are nine points clear of their nearest challenger in Beijing Guoan, who were held to a 0-0 draw at Hangzhou Greentown.
Third on the table is Liaoning Whowin, who also lost ground after a 1-1 draw at Shanghai Shenhua.
China Under-23 midfielder Xi Wu put the hosts ahead with a goal in first-half injury time before Xu Yang evened the ledger for Liaoning on 72 minutes.
In other results, Chengdu Blades slumped to their fourth straight loss with a 2-0 reverse at Dalian Shide.
Tiajin Teda climbed to sixth on the table with a 3-1 defeat of visiting Henan Construction, who sit outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
Romanian attacker Cristian Danalache scored a brace as Jiangsu Sainty toppled Qingdao Jonoon 3-1, while Shaanxi Chanba were held to a 1-1 draw by Shenzhen Ruby.