Oscar at the double for SIPG; Pato rescues Tianjin

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Oscar produced an inspirational display on Tuesday to help Shanghai SIPG claim a 4-1 win over Melbourne Victory in Group F of the AFC Champions League.

It was Hulk who got the Chinese Super League giants on their way at the Shanghai Stadium when he converted from the spot in the 27th minute, after a Wu Lei cross had been handled inside the box by Jason Geria.

Four minutes before the break, Wu doubled the hosts’ lead when he showed excellent determination to get in ahead of his marker and nod home Wang Shenchao’s perfectly-weighted cross from the right.

Oscar then opened his account for the campaign two minutes into the second half when he tried his luck from the edge of the box, with his effort taking a slight deflection and squirming beyond Lawrence Thomas’ despairing dive.

Victory did pull one back nine minutes after the hour mark with a penalty of their own which was converted by Besart Berisha, following handball by Yu Hai inside the area.

But, in the 77th minute, Oscar completed the rout for SIPG after exchanging a neat one-two with Wu, cutting inside Thomas Deng before curling a sublime effort into the far corner.

The result keeps the Red Eagles top of Group F with a maximum six points from two games – two ahead of second-placed Ulsan Hyundai, who recorded a 2-1 win over Kawasaki Frontale.

Jeong Jae-yong broke the deadlock for the South Korean side at the Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in the 42nd minute, finding space outside the box and unleashing a powerful strike past Jung Sung-ryong.

Lee Yeong-jae then made it 2-0 to the hosts six minutes after the hour mark as he latched onto Mislav Orsic’s layoff on the edge of the area, before sending a brilliant left-footed strike arrowing into the top corner.

The visitors did reduce the deficit with five minutes remaining when Kei Chinen stooped low to meet Kyohei Noborizato’s left-wing delivery with a fine glancing header past Kim Yong-dae, although it proved to be little more than a mere consolation.

Over in Group E, Alexandre Pato came off the bench to rescue a 1-1 draw for Tianjin Quanjian in their visit to Kashiwa Reysol’s Kashiwa Soccer Stadium.

It originally looked as though the Japanese hosts would be claiming maximum points courtesy of Cristiano’s fine 52nd-minute opener, as he flicked the ball up for himself before sending a sumptuous volley into the back of the net.

However, with two minutes remaining, Pato earned Tianjin a share of the spoils when he pounced on a loose ball to fire in off the post, after Anthony Modeste’s initial effort was saved by Kosuke Nakamura.

Instead, it is Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors who currently lead the way in Group E as they claimed a second consecutive win with a 6-0 rout of a hapless Kitchee outfit.

Adriano got the K League 1 champions on their way when he scored from the spot after five minutes, before adding a second on the rebound nine minutes later.

Kim Jin-su then made it 3-0 in the 26th minute with a swerving effort from the edge of the box, and the left-back then turned provider six minutes after as his dangerous cross was nodded by Tiago Alves past Wang Zhenpeng.

Right before halftime, Jeonbuk added a fifth when they were awarded another penalty after Lee Seung-gi was dragged down in the box; Adriano confidently finding the bottom corner to complete his hat-trick.

Kitchee managed to limit the damage for much of the second half but, in the third minute of injury-time, Adriano slipped a lovely through-pass to Lee Dong-gook, who poked his shot past Wang to complete an emphatic victory for the visitors.