Guangzhou Evergrande won back the Chinese Super League title on Sunday, sealing the deal with a 3-0 win against outmatched Shanghai Shenhua.
The win over Shenhua put Evergrande at the top of the CSL table with 72 points, followed by Beijing Guoan and Shanghai SIPG with 70 and 66, respectively.
On Sunday, winger Wei Shihao scored the first goal right before the half, smashing the ball in from close range. South Korean international Park Ji-Soo added to the lead in the 55th minute, before Brazil-born Chinese international Elkeson contributed a third goal in the 83rd minute.
It was a must-win for Fabio Cannavaro’s team as Beijing Guoan also won on Sunday, defeating Shandong Luneng 3-2 with a last-minute winner. But, with their fate in their own hands, Guangzhou finished out the season with three meaningful wins after beating third place SIPG 2-0 last weekend and Hebei China Fortune 3-1 in the week.
This title win flips the script from a year ago, when Shanghai SIPG won their first CSL title since the club was founded in 2005.
Guangzhou Evergrande’s dominance in the Chinese Super League is evident, as this year’s CSL title marks the eighth time in nine years that the Guangzhou squad have come out on top in China’s professional football league.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Evergrande this season. In October, Cannavaro was relieved of his head coach position following a 2-2 draw with Henan Jianye. In a club statement, Guangzhou Evergrande said the coach would “attend the Evergrande Corporate Culture Class at the group headquarters,” as cited by South China Morning Post. Whatever went down during the study period appears to have helped, as the coach returned in early November and the team are now victors.
Watch Guangzhou Evergrande claim their eighth CSL title below (VPN off):
[Cover image via @邱洪钟/Weibo]