April 29, 2018 / 2:57 PM / 4 months ago

Ighalo double hands SIPG first Chinese Super League loss

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Changchun Yatai’s former Watford striker Odion Ighalo scored both goals as they beat Chinese Super League leaders Shanghai SIPG 2-1 on Sunday, handing Vitor Pereira’s side their first defeat of the season.

Britain Soccer Football - AFC Bournemouth v Watford - Premier League - Vitality Stadium - 21/1/17 Watford's Odion Ighalo before the match Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic

SIPG won their opening six games of the new campaign but have now picked up one point from their last two games after being held to a draw by Tianjin Teda last weekend.

“Our opponents taught us a lesson today,” said former Porto coach Pereira.

“Football is actually very simple. When you attack, everyone attacks together and you must maintain the formation.

“You have to be compact defensively and defend together, but the team I saw today was not like that.

“We attacked and lost the ball and we were scattered everywhere, leaving a lot of space.

“This is not our way of playing. We need to learn from this kind of game.”

Soccer Football - International Friendly - Nigeria vs Serbia - The Hive Stadium, London, Britain - March 27, 2018 Serbia's Branislav Ivanovic in action with Nigeria's Odion Ighalo Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

SIPG remain on 19 points from the first eight games of the season but have had their lead trimmed to just one point after Shandong Luneng claimed a third win in a row with a 2-1 victory over Henan Jianye.

Jin Jingdao scored twice for Li Xiaopeng’s side after Christian Bassogog had given Henan the lead after 39 minutes as Shandong increased the pressure on the leaders.

Seven-times defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande have also closed in on SIPG, with Fabio Cannavaro’s side now two points behind Pereira’s team. Yu Hanchao’s injury time header gave Evergrande a 1-0 win over Jiangsu Suning.

That was Jiangsu’s first defeat since Cosmin Olaroiu replaced Fabio Capello at the helm in March and leaves the club from Nanjing in sixth place, six points off top spot.

Beijing Guoan moved up to fourth with their first win in four games after three successive draws as Roger Schmidt’s side claimed a 4-3 win over struggling Guizhou Zhicheng.

Jonathan Viera scored twice and Ba Dun hit a third as Beijing took a three-goal lead by the 26th minute before Babacar Trawallay pulled one back for Guizhou.

Cedric Bakambu restored Beijing’s cushion three minutes after the restart and, while Trawallay netted twice more to complete his hat-trick in the final 15 minutes, the side from the capital took all three points.

Dalian Yifang are still looking for their first win of the season after slipping to a 1-0 defeat against Shanghai Shenhua and Guangzhou R&F returned to winning ways as Renatinho scored the only goal of the game against Chongqing Lifan.

Ezequiel Lavezzi hit a brace as Hebei China Fortune added to Paulo Sousa’s troubles with a 3-0 win over Tianjin Quanjian and Beijing Renhe secured all three points against Tianjin Teda with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a goal from Benjamin Moukandjo.

Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Toby Davis

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