Melbourne Victory got their Group G opening match in the AFC Champions League off to the perfect start by beating Chinese outfit Shanghai SIPG 2-1 at AAMI Park on Wednesday.
The home side opened the scoring in the 31st minute through Jai Ingham but Shanghai pulled level in the 52nd minute through Wu Lei. In the 73rd minute Albanian forward Besart Berisha scored via a penalty to give his side the win.
During the first half, Melbourne goalkeeper Daniel Vukovic had to make a number of saves to deny Sven Goran Eriksson’s Shanghai, who looked the livelier. Vukovic made two good saves from Dario Conca’s attempts and also denied Wang Shenchao.
Conca came close to scoring a third time when his free-kick went narrowly wide into the side-netting after a deflection.
Despite being under the cosh, Melbourne scored in the 31st minute when Ingham cut inside the box and fired his shot past Yan Junling to give his side the lead.
In the second half, Shanghai were chasing the game as Melbourne went after a second goal and against the run of play they got the equaliser when Wu scored with a shot from a cross by Elkeson.
But in the 73rd minute, the home side scored again when Barbourses was adjudicated to have been brought down in the area. Berisha scored from the resulting penalty to hand his side the 2-1 lead.
With three minutes remaining, Connor Pain came close to adding to the lead when his shot hit the post and shortly afterwards Shanghai came desperately close to equalising when Conca’s shot from 20-yards hit the upright.
In the end, Melbourne held out for the win.