Elkeson seals all-Chinese grudge match
Brazilian striker the hero for Andre Villas-Boas’ men as club reach the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League
Brazilian striker Elkeson scored once and forced an own goal as Shanghai SIPG downed Chinese rivals Jiangsu Suning 3-2 to reach the AFC Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Elkeson profited from some kamikaze first-half defending from Hong Jeong-ho, who gifted him the opening goal, and Yang Xiaotian, who diverted a shot into his own net.
Hong and Wu Xi scored late headers to stir faint hopes for Jiangsu, before Brazil’s Hulk rolled in his fifth goal of the campaign to leave the scores at 5-3 on aggregate.
Andre Villas-Boas’ SIPG, who won last week’s first leg 2-1, are into the last eight for the second straight year after dominating a tie between two of the most expensive teams ever seen in Asia.
Elsewhere Ryota Moriwaki scored in extra time as Urawa Red Diamonds pulled off a stunning comeback by beating 10-man Jeju United 3-0 to book their quarter-final spot.
In Nanjing, Jiangsu’s Alex Teixeira was everywhere early on and in the sixth minute, a rebound from the Brazilian’s corner fell to Wu who volleyed straight at the ‘keeper.
Another Teixeira corner found central defender Hong, who first saw his header saved on the line and then hit the post as the ball came back to him.
The unlucky moment was perhaps a bad omen for the South Korean, who was at fault for the opening goal when he failed to deal with a through-ball to Elkeson on 34 minutes.
As Hong checked his run, expecting goalkeeper Zhang Sipeng to gather, Elkeson rushed in and prodded home his finish, making it 1-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate.
Nine minutes later and Jiangsu suffered another howler when Elkeson’s shot was blocked by the backpedalling Yang, who cannoned it straight into the net.
It was almost a lost cause for Jiangsu but they attacked relentlessly in the second half with Ramires and Teixeira, who beat three defenders before firing over, both coming close.
Substitute Ge Wei hit the post with a header and had another saved on the line before Hong redeemed himself by scoring with his head on 75 minutes.
Wu’s looping header in the third added minute made it 3-4 on aggregate but just a minute later, Hulk’s strong run and finish put the result beyond doubt.
Earlier in Saitama, Jeju looked nearly home and dry after last week’s 2-0 win but Urawa had other ideas and Shinzo Koroki’s headed goal on 18 minutes brought the tie to life.
Fifteen minutes later Tadanari levelled the aggregate scores at 2-2, and as extra time loomed, Jeju’s hopes were dealt a blow when Cho Yong-hyung received a second yellow card.
And just six minutes before penalties, Moriwaki got on the end of Tokiyushi Takagi’s cross to smash home the vital winner for a 3-2 aggregate victory.