(Reuters) - Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Paulinho struck a late goal to guide the defending champions to a 2-1 win over Jiangsu Suning, their fifth victory in six games in the Chinese Super League.
Elkeson put Guangzhou in front from the penalty spot before Fabio Cannavaro’s side were reduced to 10-men when defender Zhang Linpeng was sent off in the 37th minute.
Italian forward Eder equalised before former Barcelona midfielder Paulinho pounced on an error from Jiangsu goalkeeper Gu Chao to net his fourth goal of the season and ensure Guangzhou maintained their grip on top spot in Group A.
In other sixth-round games, former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini converted a late penalty to guide Shandong Luneng to a 2-1 victory over Henan Jianye for their third straight win.
Henrique Dourado cancelled out Moises’ opener before Graziano Pelle blew an opportunity to put Shandong in the lead when his spot kick was saved by Henan goalkeeper Wu Yan.
However, Shandong were awarded another penalty seven minutes from time and Fellaini made no mistake.
Shenzhen FC snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over Rafa Benitez’s Dalian Pro.
Goals from Gao Lin and Harold Preciado gave Shenzhen an early advantage before Salomon Rondon and Marek Hamsik found the net to level proceedings.
John Mary’s 74th-minute spot kick sealed the victory for Shenzhen, moving them up to sixth with six points. Dalian remain rooted at the bottom of Group A with just two points.
Elsewhere, Chongqing Lifan defeated Shijiazhuang Ever Bright 1-0 for their first victory of the season, while Hebei CFFC eased past Wuhan Zall 3-1.
Guangzhou R&F withstood a late onslaught to secure a 3-2 victory over Shanghai Shenhua.
Eran Zahavi scored twice and Dia Saba added a third to help Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side race into an early 3-0 lead before they were pegged back by goals from Peng Xinli and Giovanni Moreno.
Stephane Mbia looked to have snatched a point for Shanghai but his 89th-minute effort was ruled out for offside.
Tianjin Teda face Qingdao Huanghai later on Saturday before Group B leaders Beijing Guoan meet Shanghai SIPG.
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.