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End justifies the means for Pereira in Shanghai SIPG's AFC Champions League win over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors


Doha: Shanghai SIPG head coach Vitor Pereira insisted his pragmatic approach in his side’s 2-1 win against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Sunday was dictated by the competition’s tight fixtures schedule.

The Chinese Super League side fielded a heavily rotated starting XI with the likes of Hulk, Aaron Mooy and two-goal hero from the previous game Li Shenglong being introduced in the second half.

The Portuguese manager’s plan paid dividends as Shanghai SIPG added a second win in three days to hit six points in Group H of the 2020 AFC Champions League.

Jeonbuk play Australia's Sydney FC on Wednesday while Shanghai SIPG and Yokohama F Marinos will square off in a top-of-the-table clash on the same day.

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An early Lyu Wenjen goal was cancelled out in the 24th minute by a continental debut goal from Gustavo, before substitute Oscar won a penalty eight minutes from time that was converted by fellow Brazilian Hulk to win it for Shanghai SIPG.

“It is important that we got six points, but I do not have the time to relax,” said Pereira.

Group H - MD2: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC 1-2 Shanghai SIPG FC

“I have to start thinking about the Yokohama F. Marinos match now. We faced a Jeonbuk side with fresh players while we were coming from a game against Sydney FC three days earlier, so we had accumulated fatigue.

“It is not easy to play like this. It is not easy to be aggressive, control the play and dominate, so we had to be a bit strategic in our approach. Now we will again face a team with fresh legs while we have tired players.

"It is difficult to face such quality teams while we are tired. This is not the way I like my teams playing but it is the way we can get a result.”

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors fell behind after just 11 minutes when centre-back Hong Jeong-Ho misjudged the flight of a Chen Wei goal-kick, allowing the ball to fall for Lyu who delivered the first blow of the night.

Head coach Jose Morais felt the uncharacteristic mistake from the usually dependable defender was a turning point.

“I have to start by saying congratulations to my players for the efforts they put in a difficult game against a tough opponent,” said Morais.

“We were playing well with stability but then a mistake that is not normal for us to make happened. It is not usual for our central defenders to miss a long ball like this. We reacted and with good control we came back in the game. In the second half, we had good situations to take advantage but we did not score.

“As a leader, my obligation is to be confident. Otherwise I cannot transmit confidence to my players. Honestly, this was a setback, but we have to accept it and look at the fact that we still have three games that we need to win and see what happens, but we still have a chance and we should fight for it.”

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