Shanghai SIPG slip again as Guangzhou Evergrande maintain top spot in Chinese Super League
Andre Villas-Boas’ men miss the chance to go top of the table after a disappointing late defeat against Shandong
Shanghai SIPG missed the opportunity to go top of the Chinese Super League once again as Andre Villas-Boas’ side lost 2-1 against Shandong Luneng to a late Wu Xinghan goal on Sunday.
SIPG had the chance to leapfrog defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande after Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side were on the wrong side of a 4-2 thrashing by cross-city rivals Guangzhou R&F as league-leading scorer Eran Zahavi claimed yet another brace.
Zahavi claimed his 19th and 20th goals of the season while Brazilian midfielder Renatinho also scored twice as Evergrande suffered their third defeat in five league games.
But Scolari’s team continue to lead the standings by a point after SIPG missed the chance to overtake Evergrande despite taking the lead against Shandong 23 minutes into their meeting in Jinan through Wu Lei.
However, Jin Jingdao levelled the scores in the 69th minute before Wu Xinghan notched the winner three minutes from time for Felix Magath’s side.
The result moves Shandong into fourth, seven points behind Evergrande with a game in hand over all the teams around them as the fight for the top three places intensifies.
“We will have to review the second half, because we should have scored a second goal and finished off the game,” said Villas-Boas.
“Now the league is quite open, other teams are chasing us too. But I hope we can continue to show our fighting spirit.”
Fabio Cannavaro’s Tianjin Quanjian held on to third place in the standings as they handed last-placed Yanbian Funde a 2-0 defeat and are now six points off first place after going unbeaten in their last six league games.
“I’m very happy with 2-0,” said Cannavaro. “The players did well with their tactical execution, converting opportunities and solving problems in the game in these three aspects.”
Beijing Guoan, meanwhile, maintained their perfect start under new coach Roger Schmidt as the German’s side handed Henan Jianye a 2-0 defeat thanks to a pair of goals from Jonathan Soriano.
“If we look at his statistics, we can see that his performance was very, very special,” Schmidt said of Soriano, who has scored seven times in the last four matches.
“The team’s scoring ability is very, very strong but, as I have said before, how you evaluate a player is not only based on how many goals he scored, but in his contribution to the team.”
Hebei CFFC’s collapse in form continued as Manuel Pellegrini’s side lost 3-2 to a late Obafemi Martins goal against Shanghai Shenhua. The result dropped Hebei to seventh in the table.
Fabio Capello picked up his second win in a row since taking over at the helm of Jiangsu Suning with a 2-1 victory over Chongqing Lifan while Liaoning Whowin scored a 1-0 victory over Changchun Yatai that ended a sequence of seven straight defeats.