Shanghai beats Guangzhou in Asian CL quarterfinal first leg
By The Associated Press
Aug. 22, 2017
Two-time champion Guangzhou Evergrande faces exiting the Asian Champions League in the quarterfinals after losing the first leg to Shanghai SIPG 4-0 on Tuesday.
Two goals from Wu Lei and one from Hulk put Shanghai on the brink of a first semifinal in the league at the expense of its fellow Chinese Super League side, the 2013 and 2015 Asian champion.
Hulk was influential throughout, and scored the opener close to halftime from the penalty spot, after Wu was fouled in the area by fellow China international Zhang Linpeng.
On the stroke of halftime, Hulk crossed for Wang Shenchao to take advantage of poor marking to head Shanghai into a two-goal lead.
Guangzhou, which moved eight points clear of Shanghai at the top of the Chinese Super League on Saturday to stay on course for a seventh successive domestic title, played better after the break in search of a vital away goal. But without midfielder Paulinho, who scored five goals in the run to the quarterfinals and transferred to Barcelona last week, the visitors couldn't sustain the effort or make a breakthrough.
Shanghai extended its lead with two counterattack goals in two minutes, both finished by Wu.
The second leg is in September.
The winner of the quarterfinal will face Japanese opposition. Urawa Reds and Kawasaki Frontale play their first leg on Wednesday.
In the West Asian half of the draw, Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates drew with Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia 0-0. A late equalizer by substitute Godwin Mensha gave Iran's Persepolis a 2-2 draw with Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli in the first leg of their quarterfinal, ahead of the return match in Abu Dhabi in three weeks' time.