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August 13, 2020

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Oscar on the spot as SIPG rallies

A LAST-MINUTE winner saw Shanghai SIPG take down Wuhan Zall 2-1 in the Chinese Super League in Suzhou, east China’s Jiangsu Province, yesterday.

SIPG winger Chen Binbin had the first real chance of the match in the 18th minute, but his header from Oscar’s cross went just over the bar.

Although SIPG dominated possession, Wuhan showed greater efficiency in its attacks and broke the deadlock in the 25th when Zhang Chenlin, who had looked in pain just a few moments earlier, steered home a header from a corner.

SIPG winger Ricardo Lopes sent in several crosses from the left flank at the start of the second half but all were cut out by Wuhan’s stubborn defense. Marko Arnautovic also missed a glorious chance when his close-range effort failed to hit the target in the 53rd.

However, the Austrian striker would not be denied in the 79th as he headed home from Oscar’s corner to tie it up.

The Shanghai side completed its comeback in the last minute of normal time, as Daniel Carrico’s handball gifted SIPG a penalty which Oscar duly converted.

With the victory, SIPG stayed second behind Beijing Guoan in Group B. The 2018 CSL champion has 10 points from four games, two behind Beijing, which won its fourth straight by beating Hebei China Good Fortune 3-1 in yesterday’s late game. Last year’s runner-up to Guangzhou Evergrande is now the only team among the 16 in the CSL with four wins out of four.

Wuhan is third in the Suzhou group with 6 points, a point ahead of Shijiazhuang Ever Bright, which chalked up its first victory after defeating Tianjin Teda 3-0 on Tuesday. Hebei lies seventh in the eight-team group with just 2 points, just ahead of Tianjin on 1.

On Tuesday night, Shijiazhuang broke the deadlock in the 9th minute, as Zheng Zhiyun collected a precise pass from Luiz Guilherme and lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper, creating an easy opportunity for Zhong Jiyu.

“I was so excited and happy. It’s my first goal in the league,” defender Zhong said afterwards.

Shijiazhuang’s second came in the 81st, as forward Zang Yifeng slotted home a rebound after Matheus Leite’s volley was blocked by the goalkeeper.

Shijiazhuang made it 3-0 just before injury-time, as Leite launched a fast counter-attack and knocked the ball to Guilherme, who jinked past several defenders and scored with a low shot.

“It’s a sweet victory for us, because we finally got our first win this season,” said Shijiazhuang coach Afshin Ghotbi.

In the other game on Tuesday, Chongqing Dangdai Lifan drew 0-0 with Qingdao Huanghai in a drab encounter.

Qingdao played most of the match with 10 men after defender Wang Wei was sent off in the 38th for a foul on Polish midfielder Adrian Mierzejewski.

Chongqing and Qingdao both have 3 points.

Group A matches are being played in Dalian, northeast Liaoning Province.


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