April 22, 2018 / 3:56 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer-SIPG held as record run comes to an end

HONG KONG, April 22 (Reuters) - Shanghai SIPG’s record-breaking start to the Chinese Super League came to an end on Sunday evening as Vitor Pereira’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by Tianjin Teda.

Frank Acheampong gave the visitors the lead just six minutes into the game only for Lu Wenjun to net from close range three minutes before the hour mark to salvage a point for SIPG, who had won their first six league games in a row.

“I’m not here to create new history or to break records,” said Pereira.

“I’m here to help the team win. It’s a pity we didn’t gain the three points but our players were working for it all the time. You could tell they were trying very hard.

“Of course, they wanted to score but sometimes they were a little impatient and didn’t organise the attack in the best way.”

Acheampong handed Teda the perfect start when he caught out the SIPG defence after a corner at the other end, running half the length of the pitch to latch on to Bai Yuefeng’s clearance and score beyond Yan Junling.

SIPG then had a header from Yu Hai ruled out for offside after the referee called on the video assistant (VAR). The home pulled level 12 minutes into the second half when Lu applied the finishing touch to Oscar’s in-swinging free kick.

Shanghai lead the standings by four points from Shandong Luneng, who defeated Guangzhou R&F 4-2 to move into second place ahead of seven-time defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

Evergrande threw away a two-goal lead in the dying minutes to draw 2-2 with Beijing Guoan as Fabio Cannavaro’s side missed the chance to eat into SIPG’s lead.

Second half goals from Nemanja Gudelj and Yu Hanchao looked to have earned Evergrande all three points, but a penalty from Renato Augusto in the 90th minute was followed by an equaliser barely a minute later by Cedric Bakambu.

Jiangsu Suning continued their impressive form under new coach Cosmin Olaroiu with a third win in four games since the Romanian took over from Fabio Capello. The 2016 runners-up moved up to fourth with a 5-1 thrashing of Shanghai Shenhua.

Yannick Carrasco scored a penalty as Dalian Yifang shared a 1-1 draw with Tianjin Quanjian as Bernd Schuster’s side continue to look for their first win of the season. Guizhou Zhicheng slipped further into trouble with a 5-2 thumping at the hands of Changchun Yatai, with Odion Ighalo scoring four.

Chongqing Lifan defeated Henan Jianye 2-0 thanks to a brace from Alan Kardec and Hebei China Fortune drew 0-0 with Beijing Renhe. (Reporting by Michael Church, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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