HONG KONG (Reuters) - Fabio Cannavaro breathed a sigh of relief as Anthony Modeste’s late goal earned Tianjin Quanjian a 1-1 draw and a share of the points against Changchun Yatai despite playing the final quarter of their Chinese Super League game on Sunday with 10 men.
Modeste, who joined Tianjin on a big-money deal from Cologne in July, scored five minutes into injury time to earn Quanjian a point after Zhao Xuri had been sent off for a second bookable offence in the 66th minute.
The draw meant Cannavaro’s side missed the opportunity to move into third place ahead of Hebei CFFC, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side holding on to the final berth in next year’s Asian Champions League after their 2-0 win over Beijing Guoan on Saturday.
“Today we were not the better side in this game, so I’m quite satisfied with a point,” said Cannavaro. “This point wasn’t gained in an 11-against-11 situation.”
Felix Magath’s Shandong Luneng claimed a point with a 1-1 draw against Guangzhou R&F as Graziano Pelle scored a late equaliser for his side.
Guangzhou Evergrande extended their advantage at the summit on Saturday as Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side notched up a 3-0 win over Shanghai Shenhua while Shanghai SIPG slipped to a 2-1 loss against Guizhou Zhicheng.
As a result, Evergrande’s lead stretched to eight points with seven games to go and left SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas conceding that his side now had a difficult challenge to win their first Chinese Super League title.
“I’m very disappointed with the result, especially the way we conceded the two goals,” said Villas-Boas, whose side lost due to an injury-time winner from Guizhou’s Wang Fan.
“The second goal showed that we were very weak. Actually, at that moment we were on an upward trajectory, however the goal let all of us down.
“After the defeat our chance of winning the league title is small. Now we have to stay focused to keep our second place.”
Scolari saw striker Muriqui, who rejoined Evergrande last month having previously won the Chinese Super League and Asian Champions League titles with the club, score twice as they brushed aside Gustavo Poyet’s team.
“SIPG have similar quality to Evergrande,” said the Brazilian World Cup-winning coach.
“They are still in the running. There are 21 points left to go and we will go for every point until we eventually hold the trophy.”
Fabio Capello’s Jiangsu Suning moved further away from the relegation zone as they side picked up an impressive 4-0 win over last-placed Yanbian Funde while Liaoning Whowin drew 1-1 with Tianjin Teda and Henan Jianye had a scoreless draw with Chongqing Lifan.
Editing by Clare Fallon