Oscar's close-range tap-in ensured Shanghai SIPG remained in top spot on Tuesday evening as the Brazilian earned Vitor Pereira's side a 1-1 draw with second-placed Shandong Luneng as the Chinese Super League returned from its two-month World Cup break.
The former Chelsea man scored from barely a yard out after Shandong goalkeeper Dalei Wang managed to keep Lu Wenjun's header out before the Brazilian pounced in the 52nd minute to ultimately save SIPG a point.
Shanghai move onto 24 points from the first 12 games of the season but will relinquish top spot if Beijing Guoan defeat Henan Jianye on Wednesday evening.
Shandong were playing for top spot and took the lead through Jin Jingdao when he latched on to Graziano Pelle's 32nd-minute through-ball before lifting his effort over the advancing Yan Junling to score.
Pelle thought he had added a second later in the half for Shandong only to see his effort ruled out following a video review and Oscar's goal left the teams sharing the points at the end of 90 minutes.
"It wasn't a great game for us and we conceded the first goal," said Pereira. "We had chances to score but we also had some problems and Lunen were putting us under pressure. Of course we were playing with the aim of winning but a draw is neither a good or bad result."
Fourth-placed Jiangsu Suning were also held to a draw as they finished their meeting with Beijing Renhe goalless while Eran Zahavi's late goal was not enough for Guangzhou R&F to deny Tianjin Quanjian a 2-1 win in their meeting.
Goals from Yang Xu and Alexandre Pato inside the first 24 minutes were enough to guarantee all three points for Paulo Sousa's team, who move to within six points of leaders SIPG.
Chongqing Lifan continued their poor run of form from before the break with a fifth league loss in a row as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Changchun Yatai.
Reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande resume their attempt to claim an eighth consecutive title when they take on bottom side Guizhou Zhicheng on Wednesday evening while Chris Coleman will make his debut as Hebei China Fortune coach when they meet Dalian Yifang.