Tim Cahill has helped his new Chinese club Shanghai Greenland Shenhua to a thumping 6-2 victory over Shanghai Shenxin in the opening round of Chinese Super League action.
But it was Paulo Henrique who stole the headlines, the Brazilian international with a hat-trick for Shenhua as they cruised to three points at home.
On Sunday night at Shenhua’s Hongkou stadium, the home side got off to a flyer.
They were up 3-0 up just before the break with Cahill earning an assist for his team’s second goal, an own goal to You-Hwan Lim on 39 minutes.
Henrique (28 mins) and Gio Moreno with a penalty (44 mins) had put Cahill’s new club in the box seat at 3-0 in a frenetic first 45 minutes.
But the visitors hit back right on half-time to go into the sheds 3-1 after Daniel Chima’s effort for Shenxin.
Atmosphere electric.!! pic.twitter.com/6nDS1bXeF8
— AnteAlilovic (@entourage_ante) March 8, 2015
Henrique made it 4-1 for the hosts 10 minutes after the break but just three minutes later Junjie Hou pulled it back to 4-2.
Cahill was withdrawn after 75 minutes after an encouraging debut for his new club.
Shenhua made it 5-2 six minutes from full-time with Henrique grabbing his hat-trick.
The former Santos striker who came through that club alongside Neymar looks set to be a star this season alongside Cahill in China.
In stoppage time, Stophira Sunzu with a sixth rounded out a successful season opener for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
The Cahill-Paulo Henrique partnership is looking really dangerous for Shenhua. Almost in again just after break. Intelligence + pace. #CSL
— Christopher Atkins (@ChrisAtkins_) March 8, 2015
Elsewhere in China on the opening weekend of CSL action, former Glory and Jets man Josh Mitchell’s Liaoning Whowin enjoyed a 1-0 victory over Guizhou.
But former Victory defender Adrian Leijer’s Chongqing Lifan were defeated at home to Beijing Guoan losing 3-0.