Henan close gap on Beijing
Henan Jianye moved within a point of leaders Beijing Guoan after downing Shenzhen 2-0, as the table-toppers lost 2-1 at Hangzhou Lucheng. Leandro Netto and Zhi Xiao scored in either half as Henan claimed a seventh win of the season to increase the pressure on Beijing, although they are guaranteed to hold on to their lead until 2 August as the Chinese top flight takes a mid-season break.
At Huanglong Stadium, Ma Cheng's free-kick sent 11th-placed Hangzhou on their way ten minutes before the break, before Huang Long's header from Cheng Mouyi's inviting cross secured the three points with 14 minutes remaining. Tao Wei grabbed an 83rd-minute consolation for Beijing, but it was not enough to stop the league leaders suffering just a second defeat of the season.
"The early goal scored by the home side in the first half proved detrimental to us," said Beijing's Korean coach Lee Jang-soo.
"My players have done their best and we were unlucky not to be able to score an equaliser late in the game."
Third-placed defending champions Shandong Luneng failed to take advantage of Beijing's defeat and missed out on a chance to leap to the top of the table as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at struggling Chengdu Blades to remain two points adrift. Auricelio Neres Rodrigues scored twice in the first half for the home side, while Chinese international Han Peng pulled a goal back for Shandong nine minutes after the hour mark.
Fourth-placed Changchun Yatai also failed to capitalise as they could only return from their trip to Chongqing Lifan with a goalless draw and sit three points off the pace. Fifth-placed Dalian Shide did manage to make inroads into Beijing's lead as Hahn Jung-hwan and Lang Lin struck inside the final 20 minutes to down Qingdao Zhongneng 2-0 as Dalian moved within four points of the leaders. Korean striker Kim Eun-jung scored the only goal just before the hour mark as Changsha Ginde beat sixth-placed Shanghai Shenhua 1-0.
Eighth-placed Jiangsu Shuntian are also alongside Shanghai, five points behind the leaders at the top of the tight table, after Uzbek defender Alexander Kletskov's ninth-minute strike secured a 1-0 win over Shanxi Zhongxin. Finally, Guangzhou Baiyunshan shared a 1-1 draw with Tianjin Taida.