Henan then snatched the win with strikes in the final six minutes from Zhang Lu and Christopher Katongo.
The win lifts Henan off the foot of the table, but Guangzhou remain 10 points behind leaders Guangzhou Evergrande, who also have a game in hand.
Seydou Keita grabbed a brace as Dalian Aerbin beat Qingdao Zhongneng 2-1 to climb to sixth.
Bruno Meneghel's reply came too late for Qingdao, who now prop up the standings.
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was on the scoresheet once more for Shanghai Shenhua but it was not enough to earn them a win over Shanxi Zhongxin.
Wang Yun equalised for the visitors as the two teams played out a 1-1 draw.