Shaanxi beat Shandong, Guangzhou win
Yu Hai's header late in the first half and an own goal by Ricardo early in the second period gave Shaanxi Chanba a hard-fought 2-1 victory over reigning champions Shandong Luneng in the Chinese Super League at Shaanxi Province Stadium.
Yu headed the hosts in front four minutes before the break before Shandong's Portuguese defender Ricardo poked Qu Bo's cross into their own net three minutes into the second half. Brazilian forward Obina converted a penalty two minutes past the hour mark but it was not enough to secure a point for the defending champions.
Former Schalke midfielder Hao Junmin came close to a first goal after seven minutes, curling a 30-yard free-kick that forced goalkeeper Zhang Liefei to make a great save as he tipped the ball over the crossbar. Zhou Haibin blasted a left-footed long-range effort that flew just wide six minutes later as the visitors continued to threaten the Shaanxi defence. The home side then took the lead late in the first-half when Zhang Chenglin delivered a well-positioned cross and Yu leapt higher than Fabiano to head past goalkeeper Yang Cheng.
Shaanxi doubled the advantage shortly after the interval when Qu completed a one-two with Li Chunyu and delivered a low cross meant for Zhao Xuri but Ricardo's intervention saw him put through his own net. Obina then earned a penalty after being challenged by Liu Qing and he calmly slotted the ball past keeper Zhang.
"The own goal cost us the game," said Shandong coach Rajko Magic. "Had it not been for the own goal, we should have at least secured a draw." It was Shandong's first defeat in their last 11 league games and remain on 30 points in fourth place.
"It was not to win three points," said Shaanxi manager Slobodan Santrac, who led Shandong to win the title in 1999. "I am quite familiar with Shandong and our tactics worked today." Shaanxi now have 28 points and lie fifth.
Elsewhere, leaders Guangzhou Yiyao thrashed Qingdao Zhongneng 4-0 at Guangzhou Tianhe Stadium. Argentinian midfielder Dario Conca scored twice and set up the other two goals for Gao Lin and Gao Zhilin to hand the newly-promoted side a comfortable victory.
Meanwhile, Beijing Guo'an and Dalian Shide played out a goalless draw, Shanghai Shenhua lost 2-1 to Henan Jianye, Jiangsu Sainty beat Shenzhen Ruby 3-0 and Nanchang Hengyuan edged out Chengdu Blades 1-0.