Oscar hat-trick puts SIPG into ACL last 16

2019-05-22 03:03:12 GMT2019-05-22 11:03:12(Beijing Time) Sina English
Shanghai SIPG's Oscar celebrates after scoring a goal against Ulsan Hyundai during their AFC Champions League Group H match at Shanghai Stadium on Tuesday. Shanghai SIPG's Oscar celebrates after scoring a goal against Ulsan Hyundai during their AFC Champions League Group H match at Shanghai Stadium on Tuesday.

Former Chelsea star Oscar hit a hat-trick, including a wonderful curling effort from outside the box, to fire Shanghai SIPG into the AFC Champions League last 16 on Tuesday.

The Chinese champion's 5-0 home demolition of a depleted, but already qualified, Ulsan Hyundai dumped Japan's Kawasaki Frontale out of Asia's premier club competition.

Kawasaki thrashed a weakened Sydney FC 4-0 away but SIPG squeezed through by a point in Group H over last year's J-League winner.

Ulsan still finished top of the group despite the thrashing and will meet Urawa Red Diamonds in the last 16 after the Japanese team's supersub Kazuki Nagasawa scored the opening goal and created another in a 3-0 win over current Chinese Super League leader Beijing Guoan in Saitama.

Vitor Pereira's SIPG finished runner-up and will play Group G winner Jeonbuk Motors, another Korean side, next month in the knockout rounds while high-flying Beijing failed to get past the group stage.

Oscar, who joined SIPG for an Asian-record 60 million euros (US$67 million) from Chelsea in January 2017, said: "The (second) goal I scored was very beautiful and my favorite."

Asked if the exquisite strike was a reminder to European football of his enduring qualities, the 27-year-old Brazilian said: "For players who come to Asia and China, their level is not going down. We keep working hard to improve our level step by step."

SIPG made light of the absence of injured captain Hulk and was ahead after just seven minutes when Oscar played a clever one-two with compatriot Elkeson before firing first time past stand-in goalkeeper Moon Jung-in.

K-League leader Ulsan made wholesale changes from the team that won 3-1 at Suwon Bluewings on Saturday allowing Pereira's side to dominate at a half-empty Shanghai Stadium.

Oscar's neat first settled any nerves in the must-win game and the former international made it 2-0 on 42 minutes with his world-class strike into the top-left corner from the edge of the penalty  area.

Man of the match Oscar completed his hat-trick on 76 minutes after striker Li Shenglong had made it 3-0 and substitute Hu Jinghang made it a five-star night.

Over in Japan, Urawa had an early scare when captain Yosuke Kashiwagi was stretchered off in the 11th minute to be replaced by Nagasawa.

But Urawa needn't have worried as it was the substitute who broke the deadlock in the 34th as he shrugged off weak Beijing challenges on the edge of the box to fire past goalkeeper Zou Dehai.

Beijing needed at least a score draw to go through to the last 16 but its task became harder when Nagasawa turned provider seven minutes later, sliding in Yuki Muto to score.

Urawa remained in control and in the 81st sealed its place in the knockout phase when Muto played in Shinzo Koroki to ram home.

Group winner Jeonbuk drew 0-0 with Thailand's Buriram United in the other Group G match.

(Agencies)

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