AFC Champions League 2017: Shanghai SIPG Nips Urawa Red Diamonds, 3-2, Extends Winning Streak to Three Games
Chinese Super League powerhouse Shanghai SIPG FC extended its winning streak to three games after pulling off a high-scoring 3-2 victory over J1 League club Urawa Red Diamonds in a 2017 AFC Champions League third round match held at the Shanghai Stadium on Wednesday.
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Brazilian forward Hulk helped the Red Eagles win all three of its group stage games in Asia's premier club continental competitions as his 52nd-minute goal proved to be the winner against the tough Japanese side.
Shanghai defender Shi Ke netted the first goal of the game with a header in the 10th minute before Hulk's compatriot import, Elkeson, doubled the lead in the first half stoppage time. The Brazilian striker buried a stunning 40-yard shot that went past Urawa goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa with the pass coming from Uzbek midfielder Odil Ahmedov, the AFC's official website reported.
Hulk then made it a 3-0 count with a coast-to-coast goal from goalkeeper Yan Junling seven minutes after the restart, continuing his goalscoring streak in this year's competitions as he scored three goals in three games so far.
The Red Diamonds then tried to come back by scoring the next two goals, courtesy of a penalty kick by Brazilian import Rafael Silva in the 73rd minute and a goal by defender Wataru Endo in the 84th. However, they were not able to find the equalizer as time expired as forward Shinzo Koroki was sent off in injury time.
Shanghai manager Andre Villas-Boas praised their opponents during the post-match press conference, saying that "Urawa is a good team, but we took the points and can now look forward to the next game," as per the Idaho Statesman.
Shanghai remained perfect on top of the Group F standings with nine points. Urawa is at second place with six points while the Western Sydney Wanderers are settled at third with three points. FC Seoul is still scoreless after a 2-3 loss to the Wanderers also on Wednesday.