China Watch - Asian Champions League Round of 16, second leg
It's 'Zai Jan' to Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou Evergrande in this year's Asian Champions League19 May 2018 | Johnson Zhang
The second leg knockout stage matches in the 2018 Asian Champions League have come and gone with two Chinese clubs, Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou Evergrande, eliminated in the Round of 16, while Tianjin Quanjian is the only Chinese team left to progress to the quarter-finals.
Guangzhou Evergrande v Tianjin Quanjian, 2-2
In a see-sawing and thrilling match, in front of a record crowd of 48,632 fans at Tianhe Stadium, Guangzhou Evergrande and Tianjin Quanjian managed another draw in their second leg clash.
It was all Guangzhou Evergrande in the early part, with Tianjin Quanjian extremely lucky not to fall behind twice in the first 13 minutes. Eventually, Evergrande scored just on the 17thminute, courtesy of an easy tap-in goal scored by Ricardo Goulart. But that lead did not last long because Tianjian Quanjian had an instant reply through Alexandre Pato’s header goal in the 19thminute to level the scores at 1-1. Despite so much pressure from Guangzhou Evergrande at the other end, the first half ended 1-1.
The second half was much the same. Evergrande led again in the 48thminute, courtesy of a goal from Goulart’s header via a corner, his second of the game. At the 52ndminute, Quanjian fought back with another instant reply from a smart pass by Pato to provide an assist for Wang Yongpo to find Wang Jie to score his first of the campaign and to bring the score to 2-2.
Despite pressure from both teams to create so many chances towards the end to find a late winner, the deadlock could not be broken, with the scoreline remaining 2-2.
Shanghai SIPG s Kashima Antlers, 2-1
Despite needing two goals and to keep the opposition scoreless, Shanghai SIPG only managed to come away with a 2-1 win in the second leg clash against Kashima Antlers at Shanghai Stadium.
With their captain and star player, Hulk, returning from injury, things went well in the early minutes of the match. SIPG almost grabbed an early lead in the 2ndminute when Wu Lei was attempting his shot on goal but it was calmly saved by Kwoun Sun-tae. Five minutes later there was no denying SIPG as they grabbed an early lead via a goal scored by Hulk, to trim the aggregate to 3-2. After that, many chances were created at both ends. In the 13thminute, a smart pass from Oscar almost found Wu Lei to score a goal to bring the aggregate to 3-3 but he was denied. In the 19thand 30thminutes, Kashima also created chances to extend the aggregate via individual brilliance and header from Mu Kanazaki. Disaster struck for Shanghai SIPG in the 42ndminute when Kanazaki found Shoma Doi to score a nice back heel goal to bring the second leg at 1-1 and extend the aggregate score to 4-2. Despite so much pressure from both ends, half time ended 1-1.
In the second half, SIPG kept pressing to trim the deficit of aggregate score with numerous chances. In the 54thminute, SIPG almost scored with an individual brilliance goal from Oscar but it was denied by Kwoun Sun-Tae again. In the 57thminute, Oscar did the individual brilliance again but he almost found Hulk to score his second goal of the game but it was denied again due to a smart save from Sun-Tae again. Minutes by minutes, SIPG simply cannot press hard enough to trim the deficit of aggregate. Finally in the 79thminute, the pressure paid off when they were awarded a penalty due to a handball from Gen Shoji. Hulk then calmly slot the penalty to score his second goal of the game. But despite pressure from SIPG towards the end of second half, it was too late for them to grab a late goal for an equaliser on aggregate, much to the disappointment of the 19,697 fans.
- With a current aggregate score of 2-2 and the away goals rule, Guangzhou Evergrande are eliminated and will now shift their focus to the remaining matches of Chinese Super League 2018 campaign.
- Tianjin Quanjian is the only Chinese team left to progress to quarter-finals and will now await their opponents will be for the two leg clash.
- With the aggregate score 4-3 to Kashima Antlers, Shanghai SIPG are also eliminated and will now shift their focus to the remaining matches of Chinese Super League 2018 campaign and matches of Chinese FA Cup 2018 campaign.
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