Chinese Super League

Elkeson leads impressive Shanghai SIPG to comeback win over Changchun Yatai in Chinese Super League

Brazilian nets a hat-trick at Shanghai Stadium, with compatriot Hulk also on target for Andre Villas-Boas’ side

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 March, 2017, 9:53pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 March, 2017, 12:03am

Experienced Brazilian striker Elkeson scored a hat-trick and compatriots Hulk and Oscar also contributed as Shanghai SIPG underlined their Chinese Super League title credentials with an impressive 5-1 comeback win over Changchun Yatai in Saturday’s 2017 domestic opener.

Andre Villas-Boas’ side recovered from conceding to Fan Xiaodong’s 26th-minute stunner at Shanghai Stadium to record a fourth consecutive win at the start of the year, having also reeled off a hat-trick of victories in the AFC Champions League.

Changchun, with Hong Kong international Jack Sealy starting in midfield, had made the ideal start as Fan fired an unstoppable dipping shot into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area after 26 minutes after Shanghai had only partially cleared a corner.

But after Villas-Boas opted to remove his mandatory under 23 player inside the opening 30 minutes after Liaoning Whowin boss Ma Lin had done the same in the first half of Friday’s draw with Guizhou Zhicheng, the home side hit back twice before the break.

First, after Oscar was fouled inside the area, Hulk rifled home the resulting penalty 12 minutes before half-time, with Changchun’s South Korean coach Lee Jang-soo sent to the stands soon after as he remonstrated with the officials.

And two minutes before half-time, Shanghai’s Brazilian trio combined to devastating effect as Hulk played the ball into Oscar inside the area, and the former Chelsea midfielder found Elkeson with a back-heel for his compatriot to fire home.

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Elkeson, a two-time AFC Champions League and three-time Super League winner with Guangzhou Evergrande, added a second six minutes after half-time with a header from Hulk’s corner before completing his hat-trick nine minutes later.

China international Wu Lei sealed the win in stoppage time as Changchun failed to clear the ball out of their own penalty area.

Also on Saturday, Guangzhou R&F opened their campaign with a 2-0 home win over Fabio Cannavaro’s 2016 League One champions Tianjian Quanjian, while Shandong Luneng scored twice inside the final 15 minutes through Liu Binbin and Papiss Cisse to beat Tianjin Teda by the same scoreline.

Xiao Zhi’s first-half header and a second half strike from Brazilian Renatinho secured the points for the home side at Yuexiushan Stadium, with Tianjian’s new Brazilian signing Alexandre Pato missing numerous chances for the visitors.

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“What I want to say is that Pato played not bad in this match, he made a lot of effort to run. I think it was the bad situation of the field that restricted his performance, meanwhile their goalkeeper was brilliant,” said Tianjin coach Cannavaro.

On Sunday, six-time defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande begin the defence of their title at home to Beijing Guoan, while Carlos Tevez’s Shanghai Shenhua face Jiangsu Suning.