We showed our strength, says Shanghai SIPG's Pereira
Shanghai: Vitor Pereira hailed his players’ mental strength after Oscar-inspired Shanghai SIPG handed Ulsan Hyundai a 5-0 beating on Tuesday to book their place in the Round of 16 of the 2019 AFC Champions League.
The former Chelsea star claimed a hat-trick in a virtuoso display for the Chinese Super League champions, who claimed second place in Group H at the expense of J.League champions Kawasaki Frontale.
The win means Shanghai will take on Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the next round and Pereira was delighted with his team’s performance.
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“I’m very satisfied with the team today,” said the Portuguese coach. “The players were in their best mental state and that ensured we were able to remain in the AFC Champions League.
“We showed our strength in this game. We scored five goals but we could have scored more than that. Our players worked very hard and created a lot of chances.”
Li Shenglong and Hu Jinghan were also on scoresheet for SIPG and Pereira praised the pair for their contribution to Shanghai’s victory.
“They are both team players,” he said. “They played very hard in this game. Li was like a fighter and he did his best. Hu was very successful in his last Chinese Super League game. In this game his good form continued and he helped get the victory. I was very satisfied.”
Ulsan coach Kim Do-hoon was surprised at the margin of defeat, but felt his much-changed side would benefit in the long run from the experience gained playing against a high calibre SIPG squad.
“We didn’t expect to lose like this, that’s for sure,” said Kim, whose team will face Urawa Red Diamonds in the next phase of the competition after topping Group H.
“But after only six minutes we conceded and that had a great effect on us. We had many young players playing in this game and to play against big stars like Oscar and Elkeson will be good for them in the future."
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