Late Jiangsu goal trims Evergrande’s CSL advantage

By Michael Church

HONG KONG, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Guangzhou Evergrande saw their lead at the top of the Chinese Super League trimmed to six points as Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side were held to a 2-2 draw by Jiangsu Suning on Sunday.

Wang Song scored three minutes from time to earn Fabio Capello’s team a share of the points, allowing second-placed Shanghai SIPG to stay in contention for a dramatic late run at the league title with five games remaining.

Ricardo Goulart put Evergrande in front before Yang Boyu levelled but Alan Carvalho’s 75th-minute goal looked set to seal a sixth straight league win for the six-times champions.

Wang, however, netted a late equaliser for Jiangsu, who continued their move away from the relegation zone since Capello’s arrival in July.

“Our matches against Jiangsu have always been very tight, and so was this one tonight,” said Scolari.

“Jiangsu have had their own issues to solve but undoubtedly they are still a very strong team. Today a 2-2 result is fair.”

SIPG kept alive their challenge with a 6-1 thrashing of cross-city rivals Shanghai Shenhua on Saturday in the first game since Gus Poyet quit as Shenhua boss.

After a goalless first half, Hulk and Wu Lei both scored twice and not even a goal from Carlos Tevez — who came on as a second-half substitute — could spare Shenhua’s humiliation.

“We still have the theoretical chance of winning the Chinese Super League title,” said SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas, whose team edged past Guangzhou in midweek to reach the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League.

“Even if we can’t nail down the trophy, we have to make sure we get second place.

“We may use players in rotation in the game against Beijing in order to have our core players get ready for the Asian Champions League match against Urawa.”

Manuel Pellegrini’s Hebei CFFC notched up their fourth win in a row to move into sole possession of third place in the standings with a 2-1 win over struggling Liaoning Whowin.

Brazilian striker Aloisio scored the winner two minutes before halftime for Hebei, who sit one point ahead of Tianjin Quanjian in the third and final qualifying place for next season’s Asian Champions League.

Tianjin Quanjian also claimed a 2-1 win as they saw off Chongqing Lifan while Shandong Luneng’s challenge for a top-three place took a hit as a result of a 1-1 draw with last-placed Yanbian Funde.

Eran Zahavi scored his 25th goal of the season to continue to lead the scoring charts as Guangzhou R&F defeated Beijing Guoan 2-1 while Changchun Yatai thrashed Tianjin Teda 5-1 and Guizhou Zhicheng won 2-1 over Henan Jianye. (Editing by Clare Fallon)

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