SHANGHAI: Guangzhou Evergrande are within touching distance of the Chinese Super League trophy after demolishing Shijiazhuang Everbright 6-0 away from home.
The reigning champions were 5-0 up by half-time Saturday thanks to goals from China’s Gao Lin as well as from Brazilian trio Alan, ex-Spurs midfielder Paulinho and Ricardo Goulart who scored two. Alan scored again to finish the job with the only goal of the second half.
Speaking after the match, confident coach Luiz Felipe Scolari promised fans that this weekend’s home match against Yanbian Fude would be a treat. “I hope the supporters cram Tianhe Stadium in the next round so they can witness the crowning of the champions.”
Evergrande are seven points ahead of second-placed Jiangsu Suning with three games to play and will clinch their sixth consecutive CSL title if they win their next match or if Suning fail to beat Chongqing away from home in their next tie.
Scolari praised his men for dominating Shijiazhuang, in particular former Charlton and Celtic midfielder, 36-year-old Zheng Zhi.
“The first half was a textbook performance, especially from Zheng Zhi who is still one of Asia’s top midfielders,” he said.
Elsewhere Jiangsu Suning kept the pressure up with a 2-1 win at home over Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Shanghai SIPG. Alex Teixeira and Wu Xi put the hosts two up before Brazilian forward Hulk pulled one back for the visitors midway through the second half.
Felix Magath’s Shandong Luneng pulled away from the danger zone by winning their second game in a row with a one-goal victory over Hebei China Fortune, who are still searching for their first win under Chilean Manuel Pellegrini.
Former Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse scored after just four minutes with an emphatic finish after latching on to Shandong keeper Wang Dalei’s long forward ball.