Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba hit a hat-trick in Shanghai Shenhua’s 4-0 win over Hangzhou Greentown as he extended his lead as the Chinese Super League’s top-scorer.
The Senegalese marksman struck in the 42nd, 74th and 81st minutes — his second hat-trick of the season — to propel his team to fifth in the table and reach a personal tally of 12 goals in 14 games.
Ba has now scored in four games straight to move four goals clear on the scorers’ chart, ahead of Guangzhou Evergrande’s Brazilian forward Ricardo Goulart on eight.
In front of 24,185 fans, former Inter Milan striker Obafemi Martins completed the rout for Shenhua two minutes from time to send Hangzhou bottom of the 16-team table.
Shanghai’s home fans gave a rapturous welcome to their former goal hero Tim Cahill, who left for Hangzhou in the close season and was returning to his former club for the first time.
The ex-Everton man lamented the result but told LeTV he was moved by the reception. “For me Shanghai Shenhua supporters are amazing… for them to sing my name afterwards made me very happy,” said the Australian.
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Guangzhou Evergrande stumbled to a 1-1 draw away to newly promoted Yanbian Funde, with Chinese international striker Yu Hanchao equalising in the 89th minute to spare the visitors’ blushes.
Gambian striker Bubacarr Trawally had scored from close range to give the home side a surprise first-half lead, but Evergrande salvaged a draw to remain top of the league on 33 points.
Elsewhere Asia’s record signing Alex Teixeira scored a stoppage-time winner as deep-pocketed Jiangsu Suning beat Chongqing Lifan 2-1 at home to stay third in the table.
And former Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta scored the only goal in Hebei China Fortune’s 1-0 win over Tianjin Teda which kept them in second place, one point ahead of Jiangsu.