Soccer-Shanghai's Hulk smashes home late penalty to earn Champions League win

22 Nov 2020 / 23:14 H.

    By Michael Church

    HONG KONG, Nov 22 (Reuters) - A late penalty from second half substitute Hulk earned Shanghai SIPG a 2-1 win over two-time champions Jeonbuk Motors in Doha on Sunday and maintain the Chinese Super League side's perfect start to the 2020 Asian Champions League.

    The Brazilian started on the bench alongside compatriot Oscar but the introduction of the pair swung the Group H game in SIPG's favour after the former Chelsea man was upended in the penalty area by Jeonbuk defender Hong Jeong-ho.

    Hulk fired high into the net eight minutes from time to earn the win for Vitor Pereira's side, having had Lu Wenjun's early opener cancelled out shortly after by Jeonbuk's Gustavo.

    The result moves Shanghai level on six points with Japan's Yokohama F Marinos at the top of Group H while Jeonbuk have a solitary point and are tied with Sydney FC.

    Earlier in the day, Guangzhou Evergrande made an unconvincing start as Fabio Cannavaro's team were held to a scoreless draw by South Korea's Suwon Bluewings.

    Wei Shihao missed from close range 15 minutes before the end in Guangzhou's first game in Group G of the delayed continental championship.

    "We're disappointed not to get the win, it would have been good to get off with a win at the beginning but unfortunately we didn't," said defender Tyias Browning.

    "It's always a confidence booster to get a clean sheet, the defence we did our job but hopefully we can get a few more goals in the next game."

    Only three teams are playing in Group G after Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta'zim were forced to withdraw after not receiving permission to travel to Qatar, where the competition is being played in a centralised format inside a biosecure bubble.

    Guangzhou's next game is on Wednesday against Japanese side Vissel Kobe, who lead the standings after defeating Suwon in their meeting in February.

    Fifteen teams are playing in Qatar in the rescheduled Asian Champions League matches for clubs from east Asia, with the group stage continuing until Dec. 4. The knockout round begins on Dec. 6 with the final also to be played in Doha on Dec. 19.

    Iranian side Persepolis have already qualified for the competition decider having progressed through the west Asian half of the draw in October. (Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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