Hulk: Our Round of 16 dream is still alive
Kawasaki: Two goals from Shanghai SIPG's Brazilian star Hulk kept the Chinese Super League side in the driving seat for a place in the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16, after a 2-2 draw away at Japan's Kawasaki Frontale on Tuesday.
Having gone three games without a goal in the 2019 AFC Champions League, powerful forward Hulk roared back into form at the perfect moment for Shanghai SIPG with a fine brace to keep their destiny in their hands going into the final Group H tie on May 21.
Defeat to hosts Kawasaki would have seen the Chinese club needing to rely not only on three points from the Matchday Six tie away at group winners Ulsan Hyundai, but also results to go their way in the match between Sydney FC and Kawasaki in Australia.
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Instead, their destiny is in their hands with victory in Ulsan guaranteed to secure second place.
"We had always planned from the beginning of the competition to win the group and progress to the knockout stage, but it has definitely proved to be a tough and challenging campaign," said former FC Porto and Zenit Saint Petersburg forward Hulk.
"We've had injuries to the team, getting another one today, and that has certainly affected us and meant we couldn't get the three points today."
"But our Round of 16 dream is still alive and we are still aiming for victory in our next match to help us progress."
The 32-year-old admitted that he had also been struggling for fitness but was now fully recuperated, as demonstrated by his lung-busting surge from the halfway line that culminated in his opening goal against Kawasaki.
"Yes, I had some injuries but now I am 100 percent recovered and I will try my best to help the team win the crucial final match in the group," he said.
"I am very pleased with my goals today, but I must give thanks to my teammate Oscar for his support play.
"Now we have to focus on the next game against Ulsan. It is our chance to reach the last 16."
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