Shanghai: Two-goal hero Hulk rued Shanghai SIPG's slow start to Tuesday's 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-final first leg that allowed visitors Urawa Red Diamonds to score twice, despite the hosts eventually fighting back to finish the match 2-2 at Shanghai Stadium.
At half-time, Shanghai SIPG were facing the end of their proud unbeaten home record that had stretched to 19 matches in the AFC Champions League.
Two goals down after an early strike from Tomoaki Makino and Shinzo Koroki's sixth of the tournament on the half hour mark, the Chinese Super League side's best-laid plays looked in disarray after defensive errors.
But with a front three of Hulk, Marko Arnautovic and Oscar, the hosts had the firepower to come back into the tie following the interval.
Quarter-final - 1st Leg: Shanghai SIPG FC (CHN) 2-2 Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)
Shanghai: A pair of penalties from Brazilian striker Hulk saw Shanghai SIPG salvage a 2-2 draw with Urawa Red Diamonds in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-final at Shanghai Stadium on Tuesday, leaving the tie delicately poised ahead of next month’s second leg.
Urawa took a two-goal lead into the half time break with efforts from Tomoaki Makino and Shinzo Koroki, but Hulk’s brace from the spot in the second 45 minutes leaves the Japanese side with a slender advantage due to the away goals rule going into the second game.
The two-time champions can progress with victory or a scoreless draw at Saitama Stadium on September 17, while a 1-1 draw would also ensure Tsuyoshi Otsuki’s side advance to the last four for the fourth time in the club’s history.
Quarter-final - 1st Leg: Al Ittihad (KSA) 0-0 Al Hilal SFC (KSA)
Jeddah: The first all-Saudi AFC Champions League quarter-final in history ended goalless as Al Ittihad and Al Hilal played out a 0-0 draw at King Abdullah Sport City Stadium in the first leg of their 2019 quarter-final on Tuesday.
Attacking intent was present at both ends of the pitch, but clear-cut chances were few and far between for either side.
Al Ittihad were hoping to get a first win over their arch rivals since 2016, while Al Hilal were determined to lay the foundations for a third semi-final appearance in the last five years.
Preview - Quarter-final: Guangzhou Evergrande FC (CHN) vs Kashima Antlers (JPN)
Guangzhou: A clash of Continental heavyweights will take place at the Tianhe Stadium on Wednesday as Guangzhou Evergrande host Kashima Antlers in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-finals.
Between them, the sides have won three of the past six editions of the competition with two-time winners Guangzhou lifting the trophy in 2013 and 2015 and the J.League club Kashima being crowned champions in November last year.
The match also marks a repeat of the 2017 Round of 16 match-up which the Chinese side edged on away goals following a narrow 1-0 win at home and a 2-1 loss in Japan.
Guangzhou: Kashima Antlers head coach Go Oiwa is confident his team can challenge for a place in the semi-finals of the 2019 AFC Champions League when they kick off the first leg of their quarter-final against Guangzhou Evergrande on Wednesday despite the loss of three key players over the summer.
Hiroki Abe’s move to FC Barcelona stole the headlines as the young midfielder joined the Spanish giants in July, while the defending Asian champions have also seen full-back Koki Anzai join Portimonense in Portugal and Yuma Suzuki – last year’s AFC Champions League MVP – sign for Belgian club Sint-Truiden.
But Oiwa believes Kashima can compensate for the departure of the trio with their team play as the reigning champions seek to gain an advantage over the Chinese Super League side at Tianhe Stadium in Wednesday’s first leg.
We're not satisfied with just one title, says Misao
Guangzhou: Kashima Antlers midfielder Kento Misao insists that the AFC Champions League holders are determined to keep their title defence alive ahead of Wednesday's quarter-final with two-time winners Guangzhou Evergrande.
Being among the Kashima number crowned Asia's kings last year was a highlight in the career of 23-year-old Tokyo-native Misao, but the 2018 AFC Player of the Year nominee is adamant that neither he nor his teammates are content to sit on their laurels.
Their campaign to become the first back-to-back champions since Al Ittihad in 2005 – and, indeed, just the second in the AFC Champions League's history – is set to face a huge test in the last eight against 2013 and 2015 winners Guangzhou.
Kuala Lumpur: The 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-finals are sure to bring plenty of excitement for the Continent's football fans. Ahead of those much-anticipated ties, we have selected some of the clashes from the past editions to enjoy.
The quarter-finals were introduced in the AFC Champions League back in 2004, and since then we have witnessed some action-packed matches, particularly in recent times. the-AFC.com highlights five last eight ties that are worth reviewing and savouring.