Yu Hanchao's injury-time header earned Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande a last-gasp 1-0 win over Jiangsu Suning on Saturday to keep the pressure on leaders Shanghai SIPG.
Fabio Cannavaro's side bounced back from last week's draw with Beijing Guoan to claim all three points and move on to 17 points, two shy of SIPG, who face Changchun Yatai on Sunday.
Yu headed home Zhang Wenchao's cross from the right from six yards out a minute into injury time to hand Jiangsu their first defeat since Cosmin Olaroiu replaced Fabio Capello at the helm in early March.
"I told the players before the game today that what happens in the final minutes could determine the outcome of the game," said Cannavaro. "I can't deny that I understand the tactics of our opponents very well. I knew we'd have to control their counterattacking opportunities.
"The team were very reserved during the first half but we found our rhythm in the second half to create more opportunities. This is the case with football. We lost two points in the previous game but we reclaimed those two points this week."
The result leaves Jiangsu on 13 points in fourth, five behind Evergrande and seven adrift of SIPG.
Meanwhile, Ezequiel Lavezzi scored twice as Hebei China Fortune handed Tianjin Quanjian a 3-0 defeat that increases the pressure on Tianjin coach Paulo Sousa.
Lavezzi gave Hebei the lead in the 58th minute before Jin Yangyang doubled his side's advantage five minutes later and the Argentinian put the result beyond doubt with 13 minutes remaining.
Hebei move up to seventh while Quanjian, third place finishers last year, are in 13th, just five points above the relegation zone.
Elsewhere, newly promoted Beijing Renhe picked up their third win of the season as Benjamin Moukandjo's 27th-minute goal was enough to see off Tianjin Teda.