HONG KONG, July 18 (Reuters) - Beijing Guoan moved to the top of the Chinese Super League on Wednesday as Jonathan Viera’s late strike saw Roger Schmidt’s side down Henan Jianye 2-1 to leapfrog Shanghai SIPG at the summit.
Viera swept his effort home three minutes from fulltime as Beijing moved into top spot for the first time in almost three years after SIPG were held to a 1-1 draw by Shandong Luneng 24 hours earlier.
Cedric Bakambu had given Beijing the lead before Feng Zhuoyi levelled the scores for Henan, only for Viera to score the winner.
“It’s important that we won, but at the moment our ranking is not the most important thing,” said Beijing’s German coach.
“We haven’t even reached halfway through the season so there is no need to put too much emphasis on the rankings. I said we would be a challenger this season and now we are a very strong challenger.”
Anderson Talisca made an immediate impression on his Chinese Super League debut for defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande as the Brazilian claimed a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Guizhou Zhicheng.
Gao Lin opened the scoring for Fabio Cannavaro’s side before Talisca claimed his first since joining the club last month on loan from Benfica with a header.
The 24-year-old curled home his second from outside the area before notching his third with less than 15 minutes remaining when he scored with a long-range free kick.
“I’m quite happy with my performance,” said Talisca. “This was just my first match. The win is a result of the team effort, not just me. My team mates have provided lots of support.
“I haven’t reached my best. I am still new here and there’s lots to learn and settle in. I believe I can do better along the road.”
Former Wales coach Chris Coleman made his debut at the helm of Hebei China Fortune after replacing Manuel Pellegrini and saw his side held to a 0-0 draw by second division champions Dalian Yifang while Demba Ba led Shanghai Shenhua to a 1-0 win over Tianjin Teda.
Beijing lead the standings by a point from SIPG and Shandong Luneng while Guangzhou’s win over Guizhou moved Cannavaro’s side into fourth place, four points behind the leaders.
Jiangsu Suning are in fifth with 12 matches played after their 0-0 draw with Beijing Renhe on Tuesday, when Tianjin Quanjian beat Guanghou R&F 2-1 and Changchun Yatai won 2-1 over Chongqing Lifan.
Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Toby Davis