Fellaini winner puts Shandong into Asian CL knockouts
The ex-Manchester United midfielder completed Shandong's comeback from a goal down when he nodded the winner with three minutes to go in front of a noisy home crowd in Jinan.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima also went through with a 1-0 victory over Evergrande which left Cannavaro's 2013 and 2015 winners needing three points in their final Group F game to progress.
In Group E, Kim Seung-Jun's volley just before half-time put Gyeongnam on course for victory against Shandong as the hosts struggled to get into gear.
But Hao Junmin's sizzling free kick on 64 minutes, which was also Shandong's first shot on target, put the Chinese side back on terms, before Fellaini forced the winner.
The Belgium international laid off the ball to the right of the box and hared off towards the goal, receiving the return cross and heading it inside the back post.
In Hiroshima, a first-half own goal was enough to send Sanfrecce through, but it left Cannavaro's Chinese giants stuck in third in Group F ahead of the final round of pool games.
Elimination on May 22 against second-placed Daegu FC, who are two points clear of Evergrande, would raise serious questions over the position of Italian great Cannavaro.
It has been a turbulent season for the 2006 World Cup-winner, who aborted a brief and disastrous spell as China national boss and whose seven-time Chinese champions are trailing in third in the domestic Super League.
A hesitant Evergrande started slowly and they were behind after 15 minutes to Wei Shihao's own goal, when the ball deflected in off the defender from a corner.
Cannavaro's double substitution at half-time galvanised Evergrande, but despite enjoying far more possession in the second period, they rarely threatened to get back on terms.
To add to Evergrande's problems, they were left needing victory in their final game after South Korea's Daegu hammered already-eliminated Melbourne Victory 4-0.
Brazilian forward Edgar, Jeong Tae-wook, Kim Dae-won and Jung Seon-ho were all on target as Daegu moved within sight of the knockout phase on their debut in the competition.
Fellow newcomers Johor Darul Ta'zim of Malaysia kept their slim hopes alive at the bottom of Group E by beating Kashima Antlers 1-0 - their first win in the competition.