Chinese National Football League semifinals set with tantalizing matchups

Thirty plus teams began the 2022-2023 Chinese National Football League season with hopes of winning the championship, and now it’s down to four. Due to travel difficulties, only two of the four scheduled quarterfinal games made it onto the field.

Smilodons shut out Foshan in the battle of tigers

Hangzhou Smilodons 18 – Foshan South China Tigers 0

Playing at home, the Hangzhou Smilodons took care of business, shutting out the Foshan South China Tigers to advance to the semifinals. After a scoreless first half, the Smilodons took control in the second half, rattling off three touchdowns. The Smilodons stuck to their ground attack in rainy conditions, only throwing three passes throughout the game.

With this win, the Smilodons advance to the semifinals, where they will take on the winner of the Qingdao Conquerors vs. Guangzhou Goats.

Goats unable to make the trip, Qingdao advances.

Unfortunately, the Guangzhou Goats could not make the trip to Qingdao and saw their season end. The Qingdao Conquerors advance to the semifinals, where they will take on the Hangzhou Smilodons in Hangzhou. As both teams are the lone #1 seeds remaining, this ensures that the winner of this semifinal will host the championship game.

Beacon Wolves hammer Cyclones

Shanghai Beacon Wolves 40 – Beijing Cyclones 16

With the quarterfinal match taking place in Tianjin due to travel restrictions surrounding Beijing, the Shanghai Beacon Wolves took on the Beijing Cyclones. Once again, the foreign firepower of the Beacon Wolves, with #4 Ricky Jones leading the way, carried the day for the Beacon Wolves. The Cyclones came into the game hoping to use their formidable offensive line and a physical running game to keep the Beacon Wolves offense off the field, and early on, it seemed like it could work when the Cyclones evened the score up at 8-8. However, a few turnovers and the explosive Beacon Wolf offense soon took over the game and made it 40-8 before the Cyclones scored a late touchdown to make the final score 40-16.

With this win, the high-flying Beacon Wolves advance to the semifinals, where they will play the Shanghai Titans.

Gun Cavalry withdraw, Titans move on.

Sadly, there was a forfeit in the quarterfinals, as the Gun Cavalry could not play, and the Shanghai Titans automatically advanced to the semifinals. The Titans will have a rematch against the Beacon Wolves, who shocked the Titans in the regular season by a lopsided margin.

The Semifinals are set! A clash of division winners, with the victor earning the right to play for a championship at home! A rematch in the East, can the defending champion Shanghai Titans stop the runaway freight train that is the Shanghai Beacon Wolves!

Allen Hu is a Chinese-American who grew up playing American Football in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. He primarily spends his time in both the United States and China