Tianjin edge seven-goal thriller as Guangzhou lead trimmed
By Michael Church
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Guangzhou Evergrande's lead at the summit of the Chinese Super League was trimmed to one point when their 10-match winning run ended with a 4-3 defeat by Fabio Cannavaro's Tianjin Quanjian on Sunday.
Wang Yongpo scored one from the penalty spot and set up two more as Evergrande suffered their first league defeat since early March a day after Shanghai SIPG beat Jiangsu Suning to move to within a point of the six-time champions as the schedule hit the halfway stage.
"Tianjin took their chances and won," said Guangzhou coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. "Players are not machines, so they will have ups and downs.
"Today our loss was due to our own problems, issues with set-pieces and others issues. It's normal. The league is a long campaign and nothing will be decided in just one match. We will get back on track."
China international Yu Hanchao gave Guangzhou the lead seven minutes before the interval but headers from Sun Ke and Kwon Kyung-won put Tianjin in front before Pato claimed his first in the 68th minute.
Paulinho pulled one back for Guangzhou before Wang Yongpo's penalty restored the two-goal cushion to leave Paulinho's second as little more than a consolation for Scolari's team.
SIPG had claimed a 1-0 win 24 hours earlier despite the loss through suspension of Oscar, Hulk and China international Wu Lei as well as manager Andre Villas-Boas after a series of sanctions handed down by the Chinese Football Association.
Ricardo Carvalho made his debut for the club after signing in March and a goal from Brazilian striker Elkeson was enough to give SIPG victory over Fabio Capello's side, who finished the weekend at the bottom of the table.
Yanbian Fude moved out of last place by defeating Guizhou Zhicheng 2-1 with Tian Yinong netting the winner eight minutes from time while Hebei CF remain in third following their 0-0 draw with fourth-placed Shandong Luneng.
Chongqing Lifan handed Guangzhou R&F a 4-3 defeat despite Eran Zahavi scoring twice to move to the top of the scoring charts with 12 goals and Beijing Guoan's struggles continued with a 2-1 loss against Changchun Yatai. Henan Jianye and Tianjin Teda shared a goalless draw.
Shanghai Shenhua notched up the biggest win of the season so far with Gus Poyet's side thrashing Liaoning Whowin 8-1, with Fredy Guarin celebrating the signing of a new contract by scoring twice.
The Colombian was joined on the scoresheet by Obafemi Martins and Giovani Moreno, who both scored twice, as Shenhua claimed back-to-back wins in the league for the first time since April.
"I want to give full marks to my team and the staff for such a big win," said Poyet. "We also want to dedicate this game to our fans. I can't find a single word good enough to express my appreciation.
"Before the game I had the feeling that the whole team was in good shape and the result would be a good margin win. However, I didn't expect such a big scoreline."
(Editing by Rex Gowar)