Eran Zahavi brace keeps Guangzhou R&F unbeaten streak alive
Eran Zahavi scored twice in the second half as Guangzhou R&F inflicted a 2-1 defeat on struggling Jiangsu Suning on Friday evening to maintain their place at the top of the Chinese Super League standings.
Jiangsu, runners-up last year but who are second from bottom after six games of the season so far, took the lead through Alex Teixeira 10 minutes before the break as Choi Yong-soo's side continue to look for their first win of the league campaign.
But goals from Zahavi in the 62nd and 77th minutes secured a come-from-behind win for R&F that ensures Dragan Stojkovic's side remain unbeaten, with 16 points from their first six games of the season.
"If we continue doing what we are doing now, everything is possible," Stojkovic said. "Jiangsu are a strong team with expensive players, so I hoped my players would go in without any pressure and enjoy the game.
"Renato was not here and Urso is injured, so we changed our tactics. We used three forwards in order to win and scare off our opponents. We now know how to play when we are in a difficult situation."
Defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande also picked up a win despite playing the last quarter of their game against Liaoning Whowin with only 10 men following Wu Shangyuan's sending off for a second bookable offence.
Assani Lukimya gave Liaoning the lead from the penalty spot but two goals in three minutes from Gao Lin and Riacrdo Goulart saw the six-time winners of the CSL claw their way to a win that keeps them within three points of top spot.
Shanghai SIPG are level on 13 points with Luiz Felipe Scolari's team after they handed Hebei CFFC their first defeat of the season with a comfortable 3-0 victory courtesy of goals from Lu Wenjun and Wu Lei in the first half before Oscar's 67th minute penalty sealed the win for Andre Villas-Boas' side.
And Beijing Guoan's Li Lie scored eight minutes from time to salvage a point for his side against Tianjin Quanjian after Fabio Cannavaro's side had taken the lead through Sun Ke three minutes before half-time. The result means Tianjin move onto nine points in sixth place, with Beijing a point behind.
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch