(Corrects Guizhou’s wins under Manzano to two)
By Michael Church
HONG KONG, June 4 (Reuters) - Guizhou Zhicheng survived almost 85 minutes with 10 men to secure a 1-1 draw with Changchun Yatai on Sunday as Spanish coach Gregorio Manzano continued his unbeaten start to life in the Chinese Super League (CSL).
Manzano was appointed the club’s head coach last month and has now won two and drawn two of his games in charge.
Nikica Jelavic gave Guizhou the lead after barely a minute but Hang Pengfei’s sending-off in the seventh minute put Manzano’s side under pressure and Tan Long levelled the score five minutes after the interval to see the points shared as the league goes into the international break.
”It was a difficult game,“ said Manzano, whose team are in eighth place in the standings. ”It’s well known that Changchun play aggressively when they are at home.
“We were missing a player from the seventh minute, so we were playing with 10 players for most of the game but our team have shown their fighting spirit.”
Leaders Guangzhou Evergrande picked up their eighth win in a row on Saturday to move on to 31 points from the first 12 games of the season as Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side beat Yanbian Funde 3-1 thanks to goals from Paulinho, Ricardo Goulart and Gao Lin.
“We have played nine games within 30 days, domestically and internationally,” said Scolari, whose side secured a place in the last eight of the Asian Champions League quarter-finals during the week.
“This away game is very, very far and our players are worn out by all the travel. It was not easy for them to overcome the fatigue and win the game.”
Second-placed Shanghai SIPG maintained the two-point gap between the teams as Andre Villas-Boas’s side were inspired by Brazilian striker Hulk, who scored twice, in a 4-1 thrashing of Liaoning Whowin.
Hebei CFFC remain in third place after Manuel Pellegrini’s side picked up their third win in a row with a 2-1 victory over Jiangsu Suning, who were playing their first game since the resignation of Choi Yong-soo as head coach on Thursday.
Henan Jianye held Guangzhou R&F to a 1-1 draw in Zhengzhou but it was not enough to convince head coach Jia Xiuquan to stay with the club.
“Due to various reasons, Henan Jianye are in a less-than-ideal situation after the 12th round of the CSL 2017 season and are facing serious relegation possibilities,” said Henan in a statement.
“Head coach Jia Xiuquan has taken responsibility and resigned from his position. Investors and the club tried to dissuade him, however Mr Jia insisted so we have accepted his resignation.”
Jia became the third coach to leave his position this week after Choi quit at Jiangsu and Jose Gonzalez was fired after his Beijing Guoan side were defeated 1-0 by Chongqing Lifan on Friday.
Belgium international midfielder Axel Witsel scored the equaliser before Zhang Xiuwei claimed all three points for Tianjin Quanjian against Felix Magath’s Shandong Luneng with a 2-1 win while Brown Ideye scored both goals in Tianjin Teda’s 2-1 victory over Shanghai Shenhua. (Editing by Clare Fallon)