October 28, 2018 / 3:15 PM / 23 days ago

Soccer-Evergrande's Cannavaro eyes eighth CSL crown

HONG KONG, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Guangzhou Evergrande coach Fabio Cannavaro has targeted victory in the final three games of the Chinese Super League season after the champions notched up a 3-0 win over Guizhou Zhicheng on Sunday to stay on the tail of leaders Shanghai SIPG.

Evergrande, title winners for the last seven seasons, are aiming for a record-extending eighth crown and three more victories - including against SIPG when the teams go head-to-head next weekend - would deliver it.

“It was a very difficult game,” Italian Cannavaro said after his team saw off the league’s bottom side.

“Our performance was affected by the pitch, although the pitch wasn’t friendly to our opponents either. The process of this game was not good, but the result was good.

“We have three games left and there’s not much else to say. We need to maintain this rhythm. In our next game we will face Shanghai SIPG and that is very important for us.”

Goals from Zhang Chenglin, Yu Hanchao and Anderson Talisca kept Guangzhou two points behind SIPG who survived a late scare to hand Shandong Luneng a 4-2 defeat.

SIPG raced into a three-goal lead at halftime with Wu Lei opening the scoring before Hulk scored twice from the penalty spot on his return to the team after missing last week’s draw with Jiangsu Suning due to suspension.

Graziano Pelle netted twice in the second half to pull Shandong within a goal of levelling up the game, only for Wu to claim his second and 25th of the campaign three minutes from time to seal all three points for SIPG.

Shandong remained in third place despite the defeat as Beijing Guoan lost 2-0 to relegation threatened Henan Jianye.

Victory would have moved Roger Schmidt’s side into the qualifying places for next year’s Asian Champions League, but Fernando Karanga and Du Changjie scored to leave Beijing two points behind Shandong as Henan drew level on 28 points with Tianjin Teda and Chongqing Lifan.

Teda’s hopes of avoiding relegation were hit by a 4-2 loss to Shanghai Shenhua while Chongqing picked up their first win in four games with a 2-1 victory over Changchun Yatai.

Tianjin Quanjian thrashed Guangzhou R&F 6-2 to win their first game in nine matches in all competitions as Hebei CFFC edged Dalian Yifang 3-2 and Jiangsu Suning defeated Beijing Renhe 2-0. (Reporting by Michael Church, editing by Ed Osmond)

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