Group H: Ulsan Hyundai FC (KOR) 1-0 Shanghai SIPG FC (CHN)
Ulsan: Substitute Junior Negrao’s second-half strike gave Ulsan Hyundai a 1-0 victory over Shanghai SIPG on Matchday Two of AFC Champions League Group H on Wednesday.
There was a scrappy opening to the game and neither side was able to gain the upper hand in the first 20 minutes.
There was finally a chance for Ulsan in the 21st minute but Kim Su-an failed to get enough power on his header, allowing Yan Junling to save comfortably.
The hosts almost gifted SIPG the opening goal when Oscar intercepted a loose crossfield pass from Dave Bulthuis. The Brazilian advanced on goal and his shot from 25 yards was pushed wide by Oh Seung-hoon.
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Hulk managed to get an effort on target in the 38th minute but his ambitious free-kick from over 30 yards out was easily held by Oh Seung-hoon.
On the stroke of half-time, Park Yong-woo made a vital clearance headed from Oscar’s dangerous free-kick to ensure the score line stayed level at the break.
Ulsan threatened first in the second half when a long ball over the top caught the SIPG defence out. But Yan Junling was quickly off his line to make two tackles that saw off the danger.
Negrao had just come on as a substitute for Ulsan when he tested Yan Junling with a low shot. The striker was denied by the keeper again in the 62nd minute after he tricked his way past Fu Huan.
It was no surprise when the home side took the lead five minutes later as Negrao rose to head in from Kim Bo-kyung’s corner.
But Oscar gave the dominant home side a scare with just under 15 minutes remaining as his long-range shot was nervously pushed wide by Oh Seung-hoon.
Hulk then blasted over from 25 yards after Elkeson had teed him up as the visitors pushed for the equaliser. Bulthuis made a brilliant block from Elkeson’s shot as the hosts began to live dangerously.
Oh Seung-hoon then pulled off a wonderful save from Oscar’s low strike as the pressure intensified.
But Ulsan held on and now top Group H ahead of Matchday Three when they play host to Kawasaki Frontale. Shanghai SIPG will aim to get back to winning ways when they travel to Australia to face Sydney FC.
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