Shanghai SIPG winning run ended as Tianjin Teda claim draw, Guangzhou Evergrande held
Shanghai SIPG's perfect start of the Chinese Super League came to an end on Sunday evening as Tianjin Teda took a point off the league leaders with a 1-1 draw at Shanghai Stadium.
Frank Acheampong gave Teda the lead with less than six minutes on the clock and, despite an all-out assault by SIPG, last season's runners-up were only able to claim the equaliser when Lu Wenjun poked over from close range in the 57th minute.
The draw was the first time SIPG have dropped points this season after six straight wins, but coach Vitor Pereira appeared unconcerned that his side's record-breaking run had come to an end.
"I'm not here to create new history or to break records," said Pereira, who team had set a new Chinese Super League record with their six straight wins.
"I'm here to help the team win. It's a pity we didn't gain the three points but our players were working for it all the time. You could tell they were trying very hard. Of course, they wanted to score but sometimes they were a little impatient and didn't organise the attack in the best way."
Teda caught the home side napping in the sixth minute when Bai Yuefeng thumped the ball up field after a poor SIPG corner and Acheampong ran half the length of the pitch to collect the clearance and score past Yan Junling.
SIPG pressed for the equaliser, with Yu Hai seeing his header ruled out after the officials called on the video assistant referee to increase Shanghai's frustration.
Eventually the equaliser came, with Lu applying the finishing touch on the goal line following a perilous in-swinging free kick from Oscar out wide on the SIPG left.
"We made a mistake at the start and conceded a goal," said Pereira. "After that we were not focused enough. However, the team was trying to attach as much as possible and we created a lot of opportunities and finally scored.
"The final score is a draw but this is football. We will continue what we are doing and keep trying to improve."
SIPG now lead the standings by three points from Shandong Luneng after seven-time champions Guangzhou Evergrande were pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Beijing Guoan in the dying minutes at Workers' Stadium.
Evergrande looked set to claim all three points after goals from Nemanja Gudelj and Yu Hanchao, but a penalty from Renato Augusto in the 90th minute was followed by an equaliser from Cedric Bakambu just a minute later as Guoan completed a remarkable fight back.
That leaves Evergrande in third, four points behind SIPG while Guoan are in fifth on 12 points, five adrift of the league leaders.
Jiangsu Suning notched up their third win in four games since Cosmin Olaroiu took charge last month as the Romanian's team thrashed Shanghai Shenhua 5-1 to move into fourth position.
And Dalian Yifang continue to wait for their first win of the season after sharing a 1-1 draw with Tianjin Quanjian, with Anthony Modeste's penalty for Tianjin cancelled out by a spot kick from Yannick Carrusco for the home side.
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch