Football: Martinez on target as Evergrande finally get a win

Jackson Martinez (centre) of Guangzhou Evergrande shoots during the Chinese Super League match against Chongqing Lifan.
Jackson Martinez (centre) of Guangzhou Evergrande shoots during the Chinese Super League match against Chongqing Lifan.PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Former Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez was on target as his new side Guangzhou Evergrande cast off their early-season woes to beat Changchun Yatai 3-0 in the Chinese Super League.

Martinez opened the scoring from close range after seven minutes as the reigning Chinese and Asian champions recorded their first win of the season in all competitions.

Evergrande, rated last week by China's official news agency Xinhua as the world's richest club, have had a slow start to their season including shock defeats by Chongqing Lifan in the domestic league and Sydney FC in the AFC Champions League.

But Martinez's goal, followed by Ricardo Goulart's strike five minutes later and Gao Lin's effort after half-time, gets them back to winning ways as they seek their sixth straight domestic title.

Evergrande's win also gives them a timely boost ahead of Wednesday's Champions League visit by Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds, when Luiz Felipe Scolari's defending title-holders will attempt to climb off the bottom of Group H.

Elsewhere, in the Shanghai derby, ex-Newcastle and Chelsea man Demba Ba missed a penalty as Shanghai Shenhua drew 1-1 away to Sven-Goran Eriksson's Shanghai SIPG, in front of a raucous 46,000 crowd.

However, Ba did manage to get both sets of rival fans cheering in a moment of slapstick comedy, sending the referee skidding over the turf after an accidental collision.

Eriksson faced criticism from local media for the performance of his side, who won last year's corresponding fixture 5-0.

"Compared to last year, Shanghai Shenhua's squad is much stronger, but our performance wasn't particularly good - I believe it will get better," said the former England boss.

After none of the opening week's goals was scored by players from mainland China, home-grown talent accounted for eight of the 16 scored in round two.

The Chinese Super League has spent big on foreign players, smashing the Asian transfer record four times in a world-leading €331 million (S$508.2 million) spree in the January-February transfer window.

Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gervinho, who joined Hebei China Fortune from Paris Saint-Germain and Roma respectively, sat out the action as their club's game against Beijing Guoan was postponed for political meetings in the capital.

As well as Evergrande, Shanghai SIPG, Shandong Luneng and big-spending Jiangsu Suning will all be in Champions League action this week.