JINAN, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Thanks to a dying-minute goal, Shandong Luneng defeated the newly-promoted Harbin Yiteng 1-0 at the opener of 2014 Chinese Super League (CSL) here on Friday.
The CSL runners-up of last season, Shandong Luneng who tied Buriram United in the Asian Champions League at home on Feb. 25, definitely needed a big win for the new season.
However, Harbin, who put on a strong defense from the very start, was not an easy team to beat. Luneng made a lot of shots but the rivals' keeper Han Fangteng denied them all.
It was in the 88th minute when Li Xudong of Harbin was sent off for two yellow cards and the hosts scored the winning goal through Brazilian player Urso.
"It was my first goal at CSL, and I am satisfied. My goal is to help Luneng win the CSL champion," said Urso.
Altogether 16 teams compete in the 2014 CSL, China's top football division. Harbin Yiteng and Henan Jianye were the two newly-promoted teams.
Four CSL teams are competing in the 2014 Asian Champions League as the defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande claimed the Asian title last year for China for the first time in the last two decades.
The number of audiences for each match of the 2013 CSL season reached about 18,600 on average, and TV viewers hit a new-high of 350 million for the whole season since the birth of CSL in 2004.
Booming football market also attracted potential sponsors. China's Ping An Insurance signed a four-year deal in February 2014 to become the title sponsor of the CSL.