HONG KONG (Reuters) - Huang Zichang scored the only goal of the game as Jiangsu Suning moved to within a point of Chinese Super League leaders Shanghai SIPG on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Dalian Yifang.
Cosmin Olaroiu’s side took the lead just before the hour mark to take all three points on a weekend when most of the leading teams drew to leave the top six sides separated by just three points after 10 games into the 30-match season.
Jiangsu are now in fourth place in the standings with 19 points, level with Beijing Guoan and just a point behind SIPG and Shandong Luneng.
“I’ve always stressed that all of our results are based on the efforts of the players,” said Olaroiu, who replaced Fabio Capello as head coach in March.
“This win was the same. They have trained very hard every day and been keeping their discipline too. I have tried my best to help them be at their best.”
SIPG, who kicked off the campaign with six consecutive victories, stretched their winless streak in the league to four matches on Saturday when Vitor Pereira’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom side Guizhou Zhicheng.
Mario Suarez put Guizhou in front with an early header before Wu Lei levelled for SIPG and Babacar Trawallay’s missed penalty allowed Shanghai to escape with a point.
Shandong Luneng were unable to take advantage of SIPGs slip as they also only picked up a point after Graziano Pelle’s injury time goal ensured Tianjin Quanjian held Li Xiaopeng’s team to a 1-1 draw.
Beijing Guoan had two goals from Cedric Bakambu to thank for their 2-2 draw with Guangzhou R&F which kept Roger Schmidt’s team in third place after the former Villarreal striker struck either side of Eran Zahavi’s brace.
And seven-time defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande also had to make do with a point when Fabio Cannavaro’s side were held to a 2-2 draw by Hebei China Fortune.
Evergrande sit in fifth, just two points behind SIPG, after Ricardo Goulart put his team in front before goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Hernanes moved Manuel Pellegrini’s team ahead.
But Goulart scored just after the hour mark as Guangzhou claimed their third draw of the season.
Shanghai Shenhua moved up to sixth, on 17 points, with a 2-1 win over Chongqing Lifan courtesy of Gao Di’s 63rd minute winner.
Tianjin Teda secured their second success in a row with a 1-0 win over Changchun Yatai while Henan Jianye moved clear of the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory over Beijing Renhe.
Reporting by Michael Church, editing by Pritha Sarkar