In the Asian Champions League Match Day 6, three Chinese teams fielded reserve teams and the other one fielded full strength team. There were some great highlights for few of them in this match day. 

Sydney FC v Shanghai Shenhua, 0-0

In front of a good crowd of 9,855 at Allianz Stadium, Shanghai Shenhua managed to escape with a thrilling scoreless draw with Sydney FC despite fielding their reserve team and only one foreign player available to play, Giovanni Moreno. 

The injury curse also struck Shenhua again, this time in the first minute when Zhu Jianrong was brought down and appeared to suffer an injury to his leg. He was subbed off in the four minutes later.

It was a cagey first half with Sydney FC trying everything to find a way to score but so many chances were wasted. In the 8th minute, Adrian Mierzejewski delivered a fantastic pass to find Bobo who, despite his goal-a-game record in the A-League, squandered a golden opportunity when Qiu Shengjiong denied him with a smart save in a one-on-one situation. Then at the 17th and 23rd minutes, Mierzejewski also missed a golden opportunity to score. 

The second half was similar to first half. Despite so much pressure from Sydney FC at the other end, with 22 shots in the game and overall possession of 71%, Shanghai Shenhua managed to keep them at bay. This is the third away game for Shenhua where they held an opposition to a draw.  

There was a bit of melee towards the end of the 91st minute when David Carney and Ben Warland lashed out at Qiu Shengjiong, which Shenhua players didn’t like, but it didn’t matter. The scoreline remained 0-0 at full time. 

Guangzhou Evergrande v Cerezo Osaka, 3-1

A 3-1 win at home against Cerezo Osaka before 39,692 people has sealed the result for Guangzhou Evergrande to stay on top of the table in their group.

A smart assist from Li Xuepeng found Huang Bowen in the penalty area to score his first goal of the campaign to give Evergrande a 1-0 lead in the 6th minute. That lead did not last long because, at the 10th minute Hiroto Yamada provided a wonderful assist to find Takaki Fukumitsu at the other end to bring the scores level at 1-1. Evergrande found themselves extremely lucky not to fall behind 1-2 when Yamada almost scored a fantastic goal but a smart save from Zeng Cheng denied him. 

In the second half, a smart header assist from Gao Lin found Alan at the area to score his third goal of the campaign to give Evergrande a 2-1 lead.

Despite pressure from Cerezo Osaka for an equaliser, Evergrande doubled their lead to 3-1 in the 8th minute, with goal again scored by Alan. 

Melbourne Victory v Shanghai SIPG, 2-1 

After five matches unbeaten in the Asian Champions League, Shanghai SIPG succumbed to their first loss of the campaign, going down to Melbourne Victory 2-1 in front of good crowd of 7,148 at AAMI Park in Melbourne. 

SIPG were extremely lucky not to fall behind in the 25th minute with a smart pass from Kenny Athiu to find Christian Theoharous to score, but he put it wide. However, at the 40th minute, SIPG did fall behind courtesy of Kenny Athiu’s assist again, this time finding debutant Pierce Waring who opened the scoring. The lead did not last long because a smart pass from Elkeson found Lü Wenjun who provided a wonderful assist to Lin Chuangyi to bring the scores level at 1-1 at half time.  

SIPG fell behind in the 68th minute, courtesy of Terry Antonis assist to find Jai Ingham with a header goal to give Melbourne Victory a 2-1 lead. SIPG almost grabbed an equaliser soon afterwards from a superb shot on goal by Hulk thanks to combination play from him and Elkeson. In the 93rd minute, SIPG came close again by a spectacular run from Hulk but it wasn’t enough. 

Tianjin Quanjian v Kashiwa Reysol, 3-2

Tianjin Quanjian managed to escape with a thrilling 3-2 win at home despite fielding largely a reserve team and a comeback from Kashiwa Reysol in both halves.

Quanjian were extremely lucky not to fall behind in the sixth minute, courtesy of a fantastic volley from Yusuke Segawa. In the 24th minute, a fantastic header from Kwon Kyung-Won found Zhao Xuri to open the scoring to give Quanjian a 1-0 lead. Six minutes later Quanjian doubled their lead via a short corner which found Alexandre Pato to deliver a smart assist for Zhao Xuri to score his second goal of the game. Kashiwa Reysol fought in the 39th minute to score via Kei Koizumi. 

In the second half, a smart pass from Chu Jinzhao found Yang Xu unmarked with a header goal to bring Quanjian a two goal cushion again. Once again, the lead did not last long with a smart header from Tomoki Imai which found Yusuke Segawa to score in the 69th minute to trim the deficit to one goal lead.

Despite so much pressure from Kashiwa Reysol, Tianjin Quanjian held on to a thrilling win, much to the delight of good crowd of 17,418 at Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium. 

What's next?

  • Shanghai Shenhua will now shift their focus to the remaining matches of Chinese Super League 2018 campaign and matches of Chinese FA Cup 2018 campaign. 
  • Guangzhou Evergrande’s next ACL match will be in the round of 16 where they will be playing against Tianjin Quanjian at Tianjin for the first leg on 8 May. 
  • Shanghai SIPG will also play in the knockout stage where they will be playing Kashima Antlers in the first leg at Kashima on 9 May.
  • It is the first time in the round of 16 for Tianjin Quanjian meeting Asian giants Guangzhou Evergrande on 8 May. 

Categories: News | Asia

asian champions league, chinese football

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