Barbra Banda netted a hat-trick to help Shanghai Shengli claim a 4-3 victory over Wuhan despite Temwa Chawinga's effort in a Chinese Women's Super League's championship game on Friday.
Shanghai were keen to secure their first win in the four-team tournament to boost their bid for Chinese diadem after a 2-2 draw with Beijing Phoenix in the last outing thanks to Banda's brace.
On their part, Wuhan edged Jiangsu Suning 1-0 to launch their title dream on a high and they aimed to build on their win, against Shanghai.
It was the second meeting for the African stars this season after Malawian Chawinga scored once in Wuhan's 3-0 win over Zambian Banda's Shanghai in the first meeting last month.
This time, Chawinga opened the scoring to hand Wuhan the lead over Shanghai after just nine minutes of action in Kunming.
Shanghai, however, cut short their celebrations thanks to a superb equaliser from Banda three minutes later before Shen Mengyu's well-taken effort gave them the lead in the 14th minute.
With Wuhan making a waste of a chance to level from the spot in the 28th minute, Banda went on to extend the lead for last season's runners-up in the 39th minute.
On the brink of half-time, Wuhan managed to pull one back in the contest when Han Peng profited from a defensive blunder to score.
After the break, the Zambian continued from where she left off as she hit her treble of the match in the 72nd minute to ensure her side's victory despite Bia Zaneratto's effort 10 minutes from full-time.
Banda's latest hat-trick was her third this season and takes her tally to 17 goals in 11 outings for Shanghai, while Chawinga has now scored seven goals in 11 games for Wuhan this term.
The result moves Banda's Shanghai to the top of the log with four points from two matches, while Chawinga's Wuhan drop to second with three points from the same number of games.
In their third fixtures, Banda's Shanghai will square up against third-placed Tabitha Chawinga's Jiangsu Suning, while Temwa Chawinga's Wuhan will battle Beijing Phoenix on Tuesday.
After the third matches, the two top teams with most points will play in the final of the competition, while the third and fourth sides will square up for the third-place on October 11.