Zhejiang soccer back in Chinese Super League after 6 years
There were smiles all round recently with the news that the Zhejiang Football Club team – based in Hangzhou, capital city of East China's Zhejiang province – is returning to the Chinese Super League, or CSL, after an absence from the country's top-tier professional league of six years.
The development comes in the wake of a landmark victory scored by the team, which was in the China League, or CL -- the second-tier professional league for Chinese men's soccer.
In a match on Jan 12, it forced Qingdao Football Club team -- affiliated to the CSL -- into a scoreless draw.
As the team had already defeated Qingdao 1:0 in a previous face-off, the rematch secured a final victory, paving the way for Zhejiang to be upgraded to the CSL, while Qingdao will be relegated to the CL.
Hangzhou Greentown FC team, the predecessor of Zhejiang FC team, was relegated from the CSL to the CL following a disappointing season in 2016. The team subsequently experienced another setback season in 2017 and ranked ninth in the CL.
Fans of Hangzhou Greentown wave slogans to show their continued support for the team, which fails to stay in the CSL after a deciding match on Oct 30, 2016. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]
In 2018, Hangzhou Greentown was renamed Zhejiang Greentown and ranked second in the CL, just short of one score to win an upgrade.
Zhejiang Greentown was again one step behind an upgrade qualification in the 2020 season.
In 2021, Zhejiang Greentown FC was renamed Zhejiang FC. Following an eventful season, Zhejiang FC finally resumed its CSL title after a six-year wait.
Zhejiang FC team members wave their flag aloft at the commence ceremony of the 2021 CL season in Hangzhou city in April, 2021. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]