DALIAN – Defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande clinched a 4-1 victory over Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, while Jiangsu Suning crushed Henan Jianye 5-2 in the Chinese Super League (CSL) here on Sunday.

Shanghai took an early lead just six minutes into the game as Cao Yunding contributed a powerful volley. But their opponents equalized in the 18th minute as Brazilian forward Talisca was clean through on goal.

Guangzhou enlarged their advantage with a stroke of luck after the interval, as naturalized player Fei Nanduo’s cross was accidentally headed in by Shanghai defender Zhu Chenjie.

The defending champions continued their aggressiveness in the 58th minute as Fei tapped in from close range after collecting an accurate pass from teammate Zhang Linpeng. Guangzhou sealed the win six minutes later with a penalty converted by Ai Kesen.

Guangzhou dominate Group A with 19 points after the game, while Shanghai rank fourth with 11.

The other game in CSL’s Dalian division saw Croatian striker Ivan Santini score a hat-trick to help Jiangsu ease past Henan.

Santini broke the deadlock in the eighth minute as he headed in a cross from the left. He led Jiangsu to 2-0 six minutes later with a back-heeled goal. Italian international Eder added another goal in injury time of the first half.

Though Henan rallied to make it 3-2 before the break, Santini hit his hat-trick in the 66th minute thanks to a gaffe from Henan goalkeeper Wu Yan. Eder put icing on the cake with a tap-in in the 80th minute.

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