Teixeira shines as Jiangsu Suning take maiden CSL title

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Jiangsu Suning players celebrate with the trophy.

Alex Teixeira led the way as Jiangsu Suning claimed their first-ever Chinese Super League title on Thursday with a 2-1 win over the 10 men of defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande in the second leg of the 2020 playoff final.

Teixeira scored one and was heavily involved in the other as Cosmin Olaroiu's side defeated the eight-time Chinese Super League winners to claim the club's debut league title in thrilling fashion.

With the teams level after a scoreless first leg meeting on Sunday, Eder Martins' free-kick earned Jiangsu the lead in first-half injury time after He Chao was sent off, and Teixeira doubled the lead two minutes into the second half.

Wei Shihao gave Guangzhou a glimmer of hope with a header in the 61st minute, although Fabio Cannavaro's side were unable to find a way through again to take the game in extra-time.

Teixeira had threatened to cause problems throughout the first half with his direct running but, up until the dying minutes of the opening 45 minutes, Guangzhou had kept the Brazilian shackled through the efforts of Tyias Browning.

With two minutes left in the half, though, Teixeira set off on a run that would change the complexion of the game, and the season.

Picking the ball up midway inside his own half as a Guangzhou attack broke down, the former Shakhtar Donetsk man powered towards the Evergrande goal, leaving a desperate Fernandinho in his wake.

After sidestepping a despairing Browning he looked destined to score, only for He to pull him down as he was about to enter the penalty area. Referee Ko Hyung-jin initially pointed to the spot, only to change his mind after consulting the Video Assistant Referee to award a free-kick on the edge of the area and show He a straight red card.

Zhang Linpeng (R) of Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao competes during the 20th round match between Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao and Jiangsu Suning at 2020 season Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) Suzhou Division in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, Nov. 12, 2020. Jiangsu Suning won its first CSL title after a 2-1 victory over defending champion Guangzhou Evergrande. (Xinhua/Xu Chang)

Martins then added insult to injury when his right footed dead ball took a huge deflection off Paulinho in the defensive wall, the movement leaving goalkeeper Liu Dianzuo rooted to the spot and the Italian wheeling off to celebrate the opener.

Two minutes into the second half Teixeira tormented Guangzhou again, and this time the Brazilian delivered the blow himself as he won a tussle with Browning before curling a low effort from the edge of the area beyond the despairing reach of a diving Liu.

The game looked beyond Guangzhou but, in the 61st minute, the defending champions managed to find a way back into contention. Wei, who had come on in the immediate aftermath of He's sending off, halved the deficit when he timed his run perfectly to head in Zhong Yihao's in-swinging cross from the left.

The gap, though, was too much for Guangzhou to bridge and Jiangsu closed out the game to win the title and make history.

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