LIVE STREAM: Beijing Cyclones, Chengdu Mustangs Play in China CityBowl League Final

As the regular season of CityBowl League drew to a close after a total of more than 30 games, Beijing Cyclones and Chengdu Mustangs will deservingly face off in the league final as the only two undefeated teams both at 4-0.

Beijing proved to be the preseason heavyweight after all, having played and won four long distance away games to showcase their squad depth. On the other hand, Chengdu produced a shocker in their last game to knock off the mid-season favorite, the Hangzhou Ospreys, and earned a spot in the final.

Beijing Cyclones boasts a very good ground-and-pound attack with some effective short passing, while Chengdu Mustangs employs a balanced offense and occasionally throws some surprisingly good long bombs down the field.

The critical matchups will be on both sides of line, where Beijing is predicted to be dominating. Coupled with homefield advantage, the Cyclones are expected to be somewhat 10-point favorite. But never count out the Mustangs to drag it into a defensive battle where one big play is all needed, as they have already shown that they can defy the odds.

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The final will take place in Beijing at 1PM local time, Dec 17 (12AM EST, 6 AM CET), and will be streamed live at Zhangyu.tv .

Oct 22: Suzhou Blue Knights 0-26 Beijing Cyclones

Beijing Cyclones dominated both sides of the line and opened with a 30 yard touchdown pass to the tight end Shao Nan. Moments later a Suzhou bad snap out of the end zone gave Beijing two more points.

Afterwards, both team struggled to advance with the terrible field condition. Near the end of first half, the Cyclones mounted a successful drive on their power runs and capped off with a quarterback sneak by Liu Qian.

Beijing’s advantage only grew larger in the second half as players became fatigued. With a comfortable lead, the Cyclones consumed much time on their ground attacks, and finally put the nail on the coffin with a breakout touchdown run by Zhen Hualong in the fourth quarter.

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Oct 29: Hangzhou Ospreys 20-22 Chengdu Mustangs

The two then-undefeated team met for a de-facto semifinal in which the winner would gain a critical edge in the season ranking and effectively advance into the final.

Hangzhou Ospreys were the heavy favorite before the game, and methodically drove down the field for a rushing touchdown by quarterback He Xin in the first quarter. But the Mustangs took the ensuing kickoff back for a 70-yard touchdown and quickly silenced the home crowd. Hangzhou would get another touchdown with their unique no-huddle offense near the end of second quarter, before Chengdu again used just two long passes to cover 60 yards to even the score.

Both team’s offense stalled in the second half after Shan Xiaotong rushed for a touchdown for the Ospreys early in the third quarter. The 2-point try failed however, which would eventually proved to be fatal.

In their last effort at the end of the game, the Mustangs tied it up with the help from three big penalties by the opponent, one of which took away an interception that would have sealed the game. For the 2-point try, wide receiver Duan Zhuofan leapt high to catch the pass at the back of the end zone and the Mustangs took the lead.

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Hangzhou mounted their final drive to the 3-yard line with 9 seconds left; lacking of a kicker, their final charge fell just 1 yard short as the Mustangs finished their massive upset.

Other game results

Jul 9 Wuhan Griffins 8-22 Nanchang Gun Cavalry

Jul 23 Shenyang Hunters 2-28 Beijing Cyclones

Aug 13 Hangzhou Ospreys 54-26 Guangzhou Goats

Sep 15 Chengdu Mustangs 16-6 Suzhou Blue Knights

Sep 17 Dalian Poseidon 6-32 Hangzhou Ospreys

Sep 24 Nanjing Emperors 6-24 Shanghai Streetcats

Sep 24 Nanchang Gun Cavalry 12-28 Beijing Cyclones

Sep 24 Tianjin Black Sails 14-12 Jinan Mammoths

Oct 15 Dalian Poseidon 18-8 Shenyang Hunters

Oct 15 Tianjin Pirates 0-30 Tianjin Black Sails

Oct 23 Guangzhou Goats 20-10 Nanchang Gun Cavalry

Oct 30 Changsha Revolutionaries 6-56 Wuhan Griffins (8-on-8)

Nov 26 Nanchang Gun Cavalry 24-26 Wuhan Griffins

Dec 10 Shanghai Streetcats 32-0 Suzhou Blue Knights

Dec 10 Wenzhou Redbucks 28-8 Jiaxing Hornets

Brian Zhao
Brian Zhao keenly follows and writes about American football in China, and particularly helps with the officiating aspect for leagues and teams over there. He manages the ChinaBlitz blog to report news and developments from local grassroot teams.
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