Matchday One - Group F: Kawasaki Frontale 0-1 Shanghai SIPG
Kawasaki: Elkeson’s first half goal secured Shanghai SIPG a narrow 1-0 win over Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale in their 2018 AFC Champions League Group F opener on Tuesday.
The Chinese Super League side took the lead in the 23rd minute when Elkeson brought down Yu Hai’s left-wing cross and fired across Jung Sung-ryong with the Kawasaki keeper’s low diving parry not enough to prevent the ball going into right-hand corner.
Just after the half-hour, Kengo Nakamura could have drawn the scores level but Yan Junling’s superb flying save kept out the veteran’s firm header as the visitors maintained their lead at the interval.
In the second half, Kawasaki went close to drawing level on 71 minutes through Akihiro Ienaga who blazed over when put through by Yoshito Okubo, while Brazilian star Hulk was inches wide just minutes later from a free-kick at the other end.
The J.League side continued in search of an equaliser as the match drew to a close but were unable to find the breakthrough, giving Vitor Pereira’s men all three points to kick off their continental campaign.