ACL 2019: Sydney FC match Shanghai SIPG once again in entertaining duel

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

There was no separating Shanghai SIPG and Sydney FC once again as both sides played out a 2-2 draw in Tuesday’s AFC Champions League 2019 Group H clash at the Shanghai Stadium.

Just a fortnight ago, the two teams had delivered a six-goal thriller that saw Sydney thrice take the lead only to be pegged back on each occasion by the Chinese Super League champions.

Again, on Tuesday, they opened the scoring in the 34th minute when an inch-perfect through-pass by Anthony Caceres released Brandon O’Neill, who produced a deft finish to send the ball rolling past Yan Junling.

But, having been introduced as a halftime substitute, it took Elkeson less than two minutes to make an impact as he climbed high to meet a lovely corner from Hulk at the near post and head home the equaliser.

SIPG then edged ahead a minute before the hour mark with Zhang Wei linking up well with Hulk down the left before whipping a terrific cross into the box, where Wang Shenchao was on hand to meet it with an emphatic side-foot finish past Andrew Redmayne.

Nonetheless, the hosts’ lead lasted just three minutes as Adam le Fondre’s instinctive header from a Siem de Jong cross made it 2-2, as the two evenly-matched teams once more had to settle for a share of the spoils.

SHANGHAI SIPG: Yan Junling, He Guan, Fu Huan, Yu Hai, Wang Shenchao, Odil Ahmedov (Elkeson 46’), Cai Huikang (Lin Chuangyi 77’), Zhang Wei, Hulk, Oscar, Li Shenglong (Lu Wenjun 46’).

SYDNEY FC: Andrew Redmayne, Rhyan Grant, Alex Wilkinson, Aaron Calver, Paulo Retre, Anthony Caceres (Daniel De Silva 65’), Joshua Brillante, Brandon O’Neill, Siem de Jong (Mitch Austin 73’), Adam le Fondre, Reza Ghoochannejhad (Luke Ivanovic 81’).