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Tianjin shuts out Shenhua to go third

SHANGHAI Greenland Shenhua slumped to a 0-3 Chinese Super League loss at Fabio Cannavaro’s Tianjin Quanjian yesterday.

Gus Poyet’s team was missing injured Colombia midfielder Fredy Guarin, but Carlos Tevez was back in the starting lineup. The Argentina striker missed the previous two rounds of CSL due to muscle discomfort.

Tianjin was up 2-0 by the 32nd minute thanks to a brace from midfielder Zhao Xuri. Tevez’s most telling contribution came in the 27th, when his shot was parried by Tianjin goalkeeper Zhang Lu. Alexandre Pato’s goal in the 51st put Tianjin up 3-0.

Tevez showed more eagerness on the pitch compared to his performances in previous CSL matches, hitting the side netting in the 57th. Shenhua captain Giovanni Moreno also hit the post in the 69th.

Shenhua lies a sorry 10th in the 16-team CSL table with 20 points from 16 matches.

Tianjin, on the other hand, overtook Manuel Pellegrini’s Hebei China Fortune to go third in the CSL standing on 31 — nine points off leader Guangzhou Evergrande.

Evergrande beat Shandong Luneng 2-1 on Saturday, thanks to a goal and an assist by Brazil midfielder Ricardo Goulart, keeping its one-point advantage over Shanghai SIPG.

Andre Villas-Boas’ SIPG beat Yanbian Funde 3-1 in Yanji, Jilin Province, also on Saturday. Both the Portuguese manager and Brazil striker Hulk returned from their two-match bans for showing “improper” support for Oscar, the Brazil playmaker who himself was banned for eight games for his role in a CSL match fracas.

Elkeson gave SIPG a7th-minute lead, scoring his eighth league goal on an assist by Wu Lei. The score remained unchanged till 38 minutes into the second half when Wu lobbed the ball over goalie Chi Wenyi to make it 2-0.

South Korea striker Hwang Il-su pulled one back for the hosts in the 85th. But Hulk’s long-range shot in injury time finalized the score at 3-1. It was his tenth league goal of the season, the same as Wu.

SIPG will host Evergrande on Saturday, with the top spot in the CSL on the line. But before that, SIPG takes on Tianjin in an away CFA match on Wednesday.

Former England manager Fabio Capello’s wait for his first CSL victory continued after his Jiangsu Suning was held 1-1 by Tianjin Teda on Friday.

Jiangsu, last year’s runner-up, is now next to last on 11 points.

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