Shanghai SIPG march on; Suwon back to winning ways

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Shanghai SIPG moved one step closer to qualifying for the knockout round of the AFC Champions League on Tuesday after beating Ulsan Hyundai 1-0.

The only goal of the game at the Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium arrived in the 50th minute when Hulk barged his way free down the right before unselfishly cutting a pass back, leaving Elkeson with the simplest of tap-ins.

And Ulsan only have themselves to blame for not at least coming away with a share of the spoils having spurned a host of excellent opportunities throughout the 90 minutes, with Yohei Toyoda and Richard Windbichler the biggest culprits.

The result sees SIPG remain five points clear at the top of Group F with two rounds left in the group stage but Ulsan now find themselves level with Melbourne Victory, who left it late to beat Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 for their first win of the campaign.

Kosta Barbarouses emerged as the 90th-minute hero for Victory, latching onto Terry Antonis’ chest-down and squeezing his shot past Jung Sung-ryong at the near post to hand his side maximum points.

Over in Group H, leaders Kashima Antlers remain unbeaten but were denied a third victory as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sydney FC.

It was the J1 League side who initially took the lead three minutes before the half-hour mark, after a terrible attempt at a clearance by Joshua Brillante allowed Mu Kanazaki to score with an easy header from point-blank range.

But, in the 70th minute, an overlapping Luke Wilkshire hung up a cross from the left to the back post, where Matt Simon got enough on his downward header to put it past the line before Hitoshi Sogahata could claw it back out.

Finally, Suwon Samsung Bluewings got back to winning ways as they beat Shanghai Shenhua 2-0 at the Hongkou Football Stadium.

Dejan Damjanovic got Suwon on their way in the 51st minute as he met Kim Jong-woo’s left-wing cross with a clinical first-time volley that was just too powerful for Li Shuai to keep out.

Two minutes from time, the Bluewings went on to make sure of the victory when Waguininho cleverly chested Damjanovic’s flick-on header to Choi Sung-geun, who made no mistake in lashing a left-footed effort into the bottom corner.