Defending Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande became the first club to book their spot in the championship round on Wednesday night when they beat Shenzhen 2-0 to move seven points clear at the top. Veteran midfielder Paulinho lit up the Dalian Pro Soccer Academy Base, grabbing the opening goal on 28 minutes before beginning the move that led to Fei Nanduo’s effort, which secured the three points for Fabio Cannavaro’s side on 54 minutes. The Brazilian now has seven goals this term and the 32-year-old playmaker has been central to Evergrande’s title push. The match was new Shenzhen manager Jordi Cruyff’s first game in charge of the south China outfit, and it proved to be the hardest possible opening to his tenure. But the Dutchman was able to take some positives from the game. Rafa Benitez’s Dalian Pro get first CSL win of season as Hongkonger Tsun Dai scores first goal “I am satisfied with the players, they have good skills and a positive attitude,” the 46-year old said after the match. His side stay fifth, two points behind Shanghai Shenhua with four games of the campaign’s first stage remaining. Shenhua had the opportunity to boost that advantage on Wednesday night, but were forced to settle for a share of the spoils after a 1-1 draw with third-placed Shandong Luneng. Choi Kang-hee’s side trailed for most of the game after falling behind to a Graziano Pelle effort on 19 minutes. Captain Gio Moreno rescued the point for the Shanghai club on 82 minutes with a spectacular solo effort, but Shenhua are now five matches without a win and face Rafa Benitez’s resurgent Dalian Pro in their next match.