Nov 12 (Reuters) - Alex Teixeira scored and put on a stellar performance to earn Jiangsu Suning their first-ever Chinese Super League title with a 2-1 win over defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande in their championship playoff second leg on Thursday.
Brazilian winger Teixeira was instrumental in Eder Martins’ opening goal before scoring his side’s second as Jiangsu saw off the eight-time champions, who were reduced to 10 men in the first half, with a second-leg victory after the teams had played out a goalless draw on Sunday.
The game came to life two minutes before halftime when Teixeira embarked on a run from midway inside his own half that ultimately led to Jiangsu taking the lead and Guangzhou battling against the odds a man down.
Teixeira capitalised on an Evergrande attack that broke down, picking up possession deep inside his own half, outpacing Fernandinho and sidestepping Tyias Browning before being hauled down by He Chao when he looked set to score.
Referee Ko Hyung-jin initially awarded a penalty, only to change his decision after consulting with the Video Assistant Referee and checking the pitchside monitor.
Instead he gave Jiangsu a free kick on the edge of the area and dismissed He with a straight red card, leaving Martins to size up the opportunity to open the scoring.
The Italian did just that, although not without the aid of a huge deflection off Guangzhou’s Paulinho, which left goalkeeper Liu Dianzuo helpless.
Two minutes into the second half Teixeira was tormenting the Guangzhou defence again and, after winning his tussle with Browning, he swept his effort from the edge of the area around the diving Liu to double Jiangsu’s advantage.
Despite being down to 10 men, Guangzhou attempted to mount a comeback.
Wei Shihao reduced the deficit when he headed home Zhong Yihao’s cross from the left, but it was not enough to keep Evergrande’s hopes of a ninth title in 10 seasons alive. (Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Toby Davis)
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