Drogba makes an instant impact for Shenhua
Didier Drogba made an instant impact on his debut for Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua yesterday, setting up his new team’s equaliser in a 1-1 draw away to Guangzhou.
The former Chelsea striker started the game on the bench but came on at half-time, almost scoring with his first touch of the ball – an outrageous 40-yard free-kick which Guangzhou goalkeeper Cheng Yuelei tipped wide.
Earlier Shenhua had struggled in the first half after falling behind to an unfortunate own goal by Brazilian defender Moises on 21 minutes, but the introduction of Drogba instantly transformed the visitors’ fortunes.
The game had been one of China’s most eagerly-awaited this season, with Drogba-fever having swept the Chinese football world.
Former Japan national team coach Phillippe Troussier, now managing Chinese second division side Shenzhen Ruby, and Italian World-Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi, manager of Guangzhou Evergrande, were in the stands.