Perfect Beijing go clear at CSL summit
By Michael Church
HONG KONG, April 14 (Reuters) - Beijing Guoan moved into sole possession of top spot in the Chinese Super League on Sunday as a goal from England-born Nico Yennaris earned Roger Schmidt's side a 2-1 win over Henan Jianye.
Former Arsenal and Brentford midfielder Yennaris, who joined Beijing in January and has taken Chinese citizenship, netted his side's second in the 69th minute after Renato Augusto had put Guoan in front from the penalty spot.
Frank Ohandza pulled one back with a 74th minute penalty for Henan, but Schmidt's side held on to continue their perfect start to the season and extend their advantage at the summit to three points after five matches played.
Beijing lead from defending champions Shanghai SIPG and seven-time winners Guangzhou Evergrande. A stoppage time strike from Brazilian striker Elkeson gave Vitor Pereira's SIPG a late 2-1 victory over Wuhan Zall.
Guangzhou, however, slipped to a surprise 2-1 loss at Beijing Renhe, who started the day bottom of the standings but moved up to 14th following their first win of the campaign.
Fabio Cannavaro's side had former Barcelona midfielder Paulinho sent off just 15 minutes into the game after a high-footed challenge with Luo Xin, yet still took the lead when Yang Liyu headed home from close range.
However, Makhete Diop's header levelled the score just before halftime and, two minutes into stoppage time, Chen Jie struck from the edge of the area to end Guangzhou's perfect start to the domestic season.
"After Paulinho was sent off we had fewer players on the pitch and that had a big influence on the team," said Cannavaro. "That is the reason we lost.
"I'm not satisfied and the players are not satisfied, but even though the result isn't satisfactory the players performed well."
Shandong Luneng also slipped to their first defeat of the season as Nyasha Mushekwi scored the goal that earned Choi Kang-hee his debut victory as Dalian Yifang coach, lifting Dalian to 10th while Shandong drop to sixth.
Chris Coleman's Hebei CFFC continued their disappointing start to the campaign with a 2-1 loss to Chongqing Lifan, who move up to fourth in the table. Zhu Jianrong's late own goal gave Guangzhou R&F a 2-1 victory over Shanghai Shenhua.
Alex Teixeira was on target as Jiangsu Suning defeated newly promoted Shenzhen FC 2-0 while the derby between Tianjin Teda and Tianjin Tianhai ended in a 1-1 draw. (Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Christian Radnedge)