Li Shenglong stars as Shanghai SIPG defeat Sydney FC in AFC Champions League opener
Doha: A brace of second-half Li Shenglong headers helped Shanghai SIPG come from behind to defeat Sydney FC 2-1 at Khalifa International Stadium in Group H of the 2020 AFC Champions League on Thursday.
Shanghai SIPG were coming into their campaign opener against an FC Sydney side they had played twice and drew on both occasions last term, while Steve Corica’s men had collected one point from two games in the competition and were in desperate need for a victory to stay in contention.
Shanghai SIPG’s AFC Champions League success a team effort, says homegrown hero Li Shenglong
Doha: They may boast some of the biggest names in Asian club football, but Li Shenglong praised the importance of Shanghai SIPG’s collective strength after his two goals helped the China PR club to a 2-1 AFC Champions League win over Sydney FC on Thursday.
The striker scored a pair of second half headers to overturn a 1-0 half-time deficit, giving Vitor Pereira’s side a winning start to their belated Group H campaign, and putting them on track for their fifth consecutive knockout stage appearance.
Pereira hails Shanghai SIPG's AFC Champions League winning start against Sydney FC
Doha: Head coach Vitor Pereira hailed the importance of collecting the first three points in the 2020 AFC Champions League as his Shanghai SIPG side came from behind to beat Sydney FC 2-1 in Group H on Thursday.
Trent Buhagiar put the Australian side ahead early on before Li Shenglong scored with two headers 16 minutes apart in the second half to earn Shanghai SIPG their first three points of the campaign.
With his side winning their group opener, Pereira acknowledged that the Australian side had gotten the better of them early on, but physical readiness ultimately drew the winning hand, with Shanghai SIPG rising to second place having played a game less than Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Yokohama F. Marinos.
Grant looks to take positives after AFC Champions League defeat to Shanghai SIPG
Doha: Sydney FC defender Rhyan Grant admitted he was disappointed to go down 2-1 against Shanghai SIPG as the Australian side resumed their 2020 AFC Champions League campaign on Thursday but remains optimistic ahead of the upcoming matches.
Having not seen any competitive action since winning the A-League Grand Final at the end of August, the New South Wales side got off to the perfect start when Trent Buhagiar opened the scoring inside 10 minutes as they went into the interval a goal to the good.
But Shanghai fought back in the second half as a Li Shenglong brace ultimately secured the Chinese Super League side a 2-1 win, with Grant also having to play in goal for the final few minutes after Thomas Heward-Belle was dismissed for handling outside the box.
New Radiant's Ali Ashfaq seals berth in AFC Cup Bracket Challenge final
Kuala Lumpur: New Radiant's Ali Ashfaq will take on South China AA's Chan Siu Ki in the final of the AFC Cup Bracket Challenge.
Maldivian star Ashfaq's solo goal - one of five he scored in that match - for New Radiant against Persibi Bojonegoro in the 2013 AFC Cup saw him defeat Hanoi FC's Vietnam international Nguyen Quang Hai in the semi-final.
Ashfaq polled 54.68 % of the votes to see of Quang Hai's challenge.
South China's Chan Siu Ki through to AFC Cup Bracket Challenge final
Kuala Lumpur: South China AA's Chan Siu Ki's lovely strike from the 2015 edition has made the final of the AFC Cup Bracket Challenge.
Chan's goal against Malaysia's Pahang sealed the tie for South China AA and the former Hong Kong international will now face off against Ali Ashfaq of Maldives side New Radiant in the final which kicks off on Wednesday.