Guangzhou Evergrande are way out in front at the top of the league, and they started the week 14 points ahead of Shandong with six games left to play.
But with the leaders' league fixture postponed due to their involvement in the AFC Champions League, Shandong took the opportunity to close the gap.
Du Wei struck the only goal of the game in the 56th minute for the visitors, ensuring they ended the week 11 points ahead of third place Guizhou Renhe, with their spot in next season's Champions League virtually secured.
In the battle for the third and final Champions League place, Beijing Guoan and Guizhou Renhe now look set to tussle it out between themselves.
Guizhou triumphed in the match of the weekend as they won 5-3 at Guangzhou R and F.
Yakubu grabbed a hat-trick for the home side, but it was not enough to get the three points as Zvjezdan Misimovic, Zhang Chenglin and Yu Hai made sure Guizhou led 3-2 at the break, while former Levante duo Nano and Rafa Jorda added another two in the second period.
Guizhou moved above Guoan due to the latter's 1-0 defeat at Tianjin Teda as Carmelo Valencia gave the hosts a 33rd-minute lead that they never relinquished.
At the other end of the table, Changchun Yatai claimed only their fifth league win of the season - beating Dalian Aerbin 2-0 - a result that keeps them in touch with those above them.
They sit eight points above last-place Wuhan Zall as goals from Brazilian pair Isac and Eninho moved them to within one point of safety.
Elsewhere, Shanghai Shenxin defeated Qingdao Jonoon 1-0 at home, while Wuhan avoided defeat for only the ninth time in 25 matches as they drew 1-1 away to Hangzhou.
Shanghai Shenhua were victorious at home to Jiangsu Sainty, winning 2-1.
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