CSL Review: Evergrande secure historic title, Guoan fall short
The scene was set for a dramatic finale in the CSL with just three points separating Evergrande and second-placed Beijing Guoan.
A 1-0 victory for the capital club over Marcello Lippi's men last weekend meant Guoan could have clinched the title with a victory over Henan Jianye and an Evergrande loss due to their superior head-to-head record.
However, there was a sense of anti-climax in the end as Evergrande held their nerve to secure the point required, while Guoan could only draw 0-0 with Henan Jianye - who subsequently avoided relegation at the expense of Dalian Aerbin.
Fittingly, Evergrande's success was sealed by star striker Elkeson. The Brazilian had already broken the record for the most CSL goals in a season and his 28th in 27 league appearances cancelled out Liu Binbin's 12th-minute opener for Shandong.
That secured Evergrande's fourth league title since the CSL's inception in 2004, meaning they now hold one more than Shandong.
Guoan failed to make the most of home advantage against a Henan side fighting for their lives.
Henan's joy meant despair for a Dalian Aerbin team that drew 1-1 at Shanghai Shenxin. Bruno Meneghel scored an 86th-minute leveller after Yu Tao had given Shanghai the lead, but the visitors were unable to find an all-important second goal.
Elsewhere, already-relegated Harbin Yiteng lost for the 19th time this season in a 3-2 reverse at Guizhou Renhe, Tianjin Teda played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Shanghai SIPG and the games between Hangzhou and Changchun Yatai and Liaoning Whowin and Shanghai Shenhua both finished 1-1.
Rounding off the action, Guangzhou R and F, who will play in next season's AFC Champions League, triumphed 3-1 at Jiangsu Sainty, with Aaron Olanare scoring twice for the visitors.