Antar leads Shandog to victory
Lebanese playmaker Roda Antar scored the winner for Shandong Luneng as the defending champions edged Shaanxi Baorong 1-0 at home to claim their first victory in the 2009 Chinese Super League.
Shandong missed a series of chances in the first half until the former FC Cologne midfielder headed home the valuable winner on the hour mark.
At Shandong Sports Centre Stadium, the home side had the first opportunity 15 minutes into the game as unmarked Antar lobbed Li Jinyu cross high from the penalty area.
Li Jinyu then squandered another golden opportunity, latching onto Yuan Weiwei's cross in the box and having only keeper Wu Yansheng to beat, but he clipped the ball just off the right post.
The visitors made the most of dead balls to threaten the Shandong defence with Li Yan almost opening the scoring midway through the first half. He connected to Wang Yun's free kick before a close-range diving header was denied by keeper Li Leilei.
Li Jinyu kept running riot in Shaaxni defence after the break and his spectacular bicycle kick flew over the crossbar.
Antar then scored the winner, beating Li Yan in a aerial battle to head Liu Jindong's inviting cross past Wu.
Li Leilei kept Shaanxi substitute strikers Vicente Rodriguez Guillen and Wang Peng at bay shortly before the final whistle as he denied their two consecutive headers.
"Antar is a superb professional footballer and he quickly played an important role in the team," said Shandong manager Ljubisa Tumbakovic. "We need him to pull the strings in the midfield and he will definitely play better."
Tianjin Teda got the better of newly promoted Zhejiang Lucheng 2-0 away thanks to strikes by Wang Xinxin and Cao Yang.
The northern side now top the CSL table with six points.
Shanghai Shenhua were downed by Chengdu Blades 1-0 away as Brazilian forward Auricélio Neres Rodrigues shot past Shenhua keeper Qiu Shengjiong nine minutes into the second half.
In other games, eight-time Chinese champions Dalian Shide edged Henan Jianye 1-0; Chongqing Lifan and Qingdao Zhongneng played out a 1-1 draw; Shenzhen Kingway lost to Guangzhou Guangyao 2-1 and Jiangsu Shuntian were edged by Changchun Yatai 1-0.