Qatar’s Al Duhail maintain their perfect start as Group B leaders
HONG KONG: Brazilian Oscar scored twice to salvage a 2-2 draw for Shanghai SIPG against Ulsan Hyundai yesterday as the Chinese Super League side’s perfect start to the Asian Champions League came to an end.
The former Chelsea playmaker twice levelled for SIPG after Richard Windbichler and Kim In-sung had scored for the South Koreans. Windbichler put his side in front in the 37th minute but Oscar levelled with a low, long-range strike into the bottom corner less than a minute later.
Two minutes after Kim restored Ulsan’s advantage, the 26-year-old Oscar curled his second into the top corner from the edge of the area to keep Shanghai on top of Group F with seven points from three games.
“I’m quite satisfied with the performance today, even though the result wasn’t ideal,” said SIPG coach Vitor Pereira. “The players have shown great fighting spirit and mentality. We hit the bar three times.”
“This is football. You might have a great process but have a less than ideal result.” Ulsan are second in the group with Melbourne Victory in third after Leroy George’s late penalty earned the Australian side a 2-2 draw with Kawasaki Frontale, who twice took the lead only to be pegged back.
Elsinho gave the Japanese champions the lead before Besart Berisha levelled the scores with a header, only for Kyohei Noborizato to restore Kawasaki’s lead with a close-range tap-in. George equalised from the penalty spot two minutes into injury time as Melbourne picked up their second point of the competition.
Shanghai Shenhua had Giovanni Moreno to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw with the Suwon Bluewings in Group H as the Colombian struck from the penalty spot after the twice continental champions had taken the lead through Lee Ki-je.
The draw kept both teams in touch with leaders Kashima Antlers, who moved on to seven points after a 2-0 win over Sydney FC. Goals from Shoma Doi and Naomichi Ueda gave the Japanese side the win to leave Graham Arnold’s Sydney sitting bottom of the group with just one point from their opening three games. Qatar’s Al Duhail maintained their perfect start as Group B leaders with a 3-2 win over Lokomotiv Tashkent from Uzbekistan to remain three points clear of Iran’s Zob Ahan, who defeated Al Wahda of the United Arab Emirates 2-0.
Former winners Al Ain of the UAE needed a last-minute penalty from Ahmad Khalil to draw 2-2 with Iran’s Esteghlal in Group D. Al Ain, 2003 champions and 2016 runners-up, are third in the group, level on three points with Qatar’s Al Rayyan, who drew 1-1 with last year’s beaten finalists Al Hilal from Saudi Arabia. – Reuters