CHINA TOPIX

Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Chinese Super League: Shanghai Shenhua Holds Firm to 3rd Spot After Routing Tianjin Teda 3-1

Shanghai Shenhua striker Obafemi Martins

(Photo : Getty Images) Nigeria's Obafemi Martins scored a goal as Shanghai Shenhua routed Tianjin Teda on Sunday.

Shanghai Greenland Shenhua FC was able to hold firm to the third spot in the league table after winning Tianjin Teda FC, 3-1, at the Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium last Sunday.

Defender Li Jianbin scored the opening goal in the 40th minute of the match off an assist from teammate Lu Zheng to give the visitors a one-point lead at the halftime break.

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Tianjin Teda was able to equalize five minutes into the second half with a goal from midfielder Hui Jiakang as defender Li Yuanyi set him up for a close-range shot past the gloves of Shenhua keeper Li Shuai.

However, head coach Gregorio Manzano's boys responded strongly afterward with two goals in the second half as Lu and Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins took turns assisting each other and scoring to build the 3-1 advantage.

Lu scored in the 73rd with Obafemi providing the pass before the former Seattle Sounders standout netted one in the 82nd minute from a cross by Lu.

With the win, Shenhua overcame two-straight drawn matches and moved two points ahead of rivals Shanghai SIPG on the third spot in the current league table.

The top four teams at the end of the season will qualify for the AFC Champions League next season. At the moment, league leaders and defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande, Jiangsu Suning, Shenhua, and SIPG are the four leading teams in the Chinese first division league.

Shanghai Shenhua had been on a blistering pace since Senegalese striker and former CSL top goalscorer Demba Ba was ruled out for the rest of the season following a horrific broken leg injury in July. After the team lost to Shijiazhuang Ever Bright in the game after Ba's injury, Shenhua has been unbeaten in seven games, propelling them to the third spot on the league table.

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