Two goals in the final minutes saw Shanghai SIPG pick up a 3-1 win over derby rivals Shanghai Shenhua on Saturday afternoon as Andre Villas-Boas’ side won a keenly contested clash to close to within two points of Chinese Super League leaders Guangzhou Evergrande.
Hulk netted with a minute remaining to give SIPG the lead after Obafemi Martins had cancelled out Wu Lei’s opener while an own goal by Li Yunqiu four minutes into added time added to the pain for Gus Poyet and his team.
Victory moves SIPG onto 20 points and back to within two points of Evergrande, who defeated Jiangsu Suning on Friday evening.
Wu gave SIPG the lead in the 35th minute when he swept the ball home from inside the area only for Martins to level the scores three minutes before the break.
The game looked to be heading for a draw only for Hulk to score in the 89th minute after seeing his initial shot blocked before directing the ball over his own goal line after Oscar’s shot crashed back off the crossbar.
In a heated final few minutes, Villas-Boas was sent to the stands as SIPG ensured they kept pace with Evergrande.
“Derby games are always filled with emotional ups and downs,” assistant coach Daniel Sousa said. “This game was an away game for us so there were a lot of ups and downs not only in the stands but also on the bench.
“We controlled this game with our own rhythm, our possession was good and we created a lot of opportunities in the game, there were a lot of scoring opportunities.
“In the last week we have had to play a long distance away game and we haven’t had any good preparation time, we only had a few days together. But today we performed everything in our plan well.”
Elsewhere, Hebei CFFC moved up to third in the standings after goals from Ren Hang and Gui Hong saw off Liaoning Whowin as Manuel Pellegrini’s team moved to within six points of top spot, while Shandong Luneng slipped to fifth following their 1-1 draw with Yanbian Funde.
Alexandre Pato scored the only goal of the game as Tianjin Quanjian defeated Chongqing Lifan as Fabio Cannavaro’s side picked up their first win in six games in the league to move up to seventh.
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch