Shanghai SIPG frustrated by Jiangsu Suning as Guangzhou Evergrande close gap
Shanghai SIPG were held to a goalless draw by Jiangsu Suning on Sunday as their lead at the top of the Chinese Super League was trimmed to two points with four games remaining.
The draw means defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande closed the gap on Vitor Pereira's side after a 6-1 thrashing of Beijing Renhe on Saturday.
SIPG were playing the first of three games without the Portuguese coach, serving a touchline ban, while Brazilian Hulk was missing from the lineup due to suspension.
"It was an exciting game and both sides played well, with a lot of strength but it was very hard to create scoring chances," SIPG assistant coach Felipe Almeida said.
"It was the same for Suning. We were trying hard to score, and it's a shame we didn't get the three points in the end."
Fabio Cannavaro's Evergrande stayed within touching distance of SIPG when they demolished last season's second division runners-up Beijing Renhe to secure their fourth league win in a row.
Zheng Long scored twice while Paulinho and Alan Carvalho also struck for Evergrande, who are due to host SIPG in a title decider at Tianhe Stadium on Nov. 3.
Meanwhile, Beijing Guoan's hopes of securing a place in next season's Asian Champions League with a top three finish suffered a hit in a 1-1 draw with Changchun Yatai on Sunday, with Spanish striker Jonathan Soriano salvaging a point for Roger Schmidt's team from the penalty spot in injury time.
That result leaves the capital side two points adrift of Shandong Luneng, who eased to a comfortable 2-0 win over Tianjin Teda thanks to goals from Graziano Pelle and Roger Guedes.
Bottom side Guizhou Zhencheng enhanced their chances of avoiding relegation with a 3-0 win over Dalian Yifang, closing to within four points of safety after 14th-placed Chongqing Yatai were held to a 4-4 draw by Chris Coleman's Hebei China Fortune.
Henan Jianye also boosted their hopes of escaping the bottom two with their second victory in three games, a 2-0 success over Guangzhou R&F courtesy of goals from Fernando Karanga and Ricardo Vaz Te.
Tianjin Quanjian ended their run of five consecutive defeats in all competitions with a 1-1 draw away to Shanghai Shenhua in coach Park Choong-kyun's first game in charge.