By Michael Church
HONGKONG (Reuters) – Dalian Yifang’s Emmanuel Boateng put his name on the scoresheet three times on Sunday, including an own goal in the second half, as Tianjin Tianhai picked up a 2-2 draw that means they remain bottom of the Chinese Super League standings.
Former China international Sun Ke gave Tianjin the lead with eight minutes on the clock only for Boateng to score twice – including from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute – to put Dalian in front.
But an own goal from the Ghanaian forward meant the teams shared the spoils, with Tianjin rooted to the bottom on nine points from the first 14 games of the season and Dalian in 10th with an additional five points.
In the day’s other game, Chongqing Lifan moved up to sixth with a 3-2 win over Wuhan Zall as the Jordi Cruyff-coached side fought back from going a goal down to take all three points.
Jean Kouassi put Wuhan in front two minutes into the second half but a brace from Alan Kardec and a third by Fernandinho Silva meant a second from Kouassi deep into stoppage time was not enough to deny Chongqing.
Beijing Guoan continue to lead the standings following a 3-2 win over Guangzhou R&F on Saturday, which maintained their five point lead over defending champions Shanghai SIPG and seven-time winners Guangzhou Evergrande.
Wang Ziming put Beijing in front before a pair of penalties in 12 first-half minutes from Eran Zahavi put R&F in front and took the Israel international’s tally for the season to 16.
Yu Dabao levelled the scoring nine minutes into the second half before Zahavi was sent off for a second bookable offence and Renato Augusto slammed the winner home from outside the area three minutes into stoppage time.
The result means Beijing will lead the standings at the halfway stage, but coach Roger Schmidt dismissed the significance of that milestone.
“No one will talk about who was halfway champions at the end of the season,” he said.
“We need to be modest and cautious and we must not be complacent because we are ranked first in the league.
“We know that we still need to continue fighting and fight for each point. We have to maintain this attitude for the next 16 games.”
SIPG notched up a 3-0 win over Beijing Renhe with all three goals coming in the second half while Evergrande had goals from Yan Dinghao and Wei Shihao to thank for their 2-1 victory over Hebei CFFC.
Shandong Luneng slipped to a 2-1 loss to Tianjin Teda but remain in fourth ahead of Jiangsu Suning, who suffered a 1-0 defeat by struggling Shanghai Shenhua.
Henan Jianye, meanwhile, inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Shenzhen FC that pushes the promoted side down to 14th in the 16-team league.
(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Christian Radnedge)