Oscar seals Asian quarter-final for China’s SIPG

Oscar buried the winning spot-kick as the Chinese champions prevailed 5-3 on penalties. (AFP)
Updated 26 June 2019
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Oscar seals Asian quarter-final for China’s SIPG

  • They join two-time winners Guangzhou Evergrande and defending champions Kashima Antlers, who both went through on Tuesday

SEOUL, South Korea: Former Chelsea star Oscar held his nerve to seal a penalty shootout as Shanghai SIPG came from behind to beat Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and reach the Asian Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Oscar buried the winning spot-kick as the Chinese champions prevailed 5-3 on penalties in a wet Jeonju after the second leg finished at 1-1 after extra time and 2-2 on aggregate.
SIPG, into the last eight for the third time, qualified alongside Japan’s Urawa Reds who dismantled Ulsan Hyundai 3-0 away to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.
They join two-time winners Guangzhou Evergrande and defending champions Kashima Antlers, who both went through on Tuesday.
Jeonbuk held the advantage thanks to their away goal in last week’s 1-1 first leg in Shanghai, and the hosts took a grip on the tie when Kim Shin-wook scored within the first half-hour.
The towering South Korea international stretched his long right leg to reach a volley ahead of SIPG’s Wei Zhen after Son Jun-ho’s dinked cross into the box.
At the other end Brazil international Hulk, leading a star-studded front line for well-heeled SIPG, saw a half-volley tipped wide by Jeonbuk goalkeeper Song Beom-keun.
SIPG’s Brazilian attack nearly grabbed the equalizer on 72 minutes when Hulk slammed a shot against the post, Elkeson played the ball back in and Oscar skied his shot over the bar.
But the South American trio finally got the equalizer, with the help of some kindly officiating, with 10 minutes to go.
Oscar’s cross appeared to have gone out when Elkeson nodded it back in for Hulk to finish, but the goal was allowed to stand after the assistant referee ruled the ball was kept in play.
In the first period of extra time, Jeonbuk coach Jose Morais had his head in his hands when Kim put an easy header wide, and Hulk nearly snatched it at the end of the second added period when he stabbed a shot against the bar.
Seconds later, the match was briefly halted for a melee when Jeonbuk’s Moon Seon-min was sent off for lashing out at Li Shenglong and the teams were drawn into an ugly shoving match.
But SIPG quickly regained their composure for the shootout, where Hulk, Elkeson, Odil Ahmedov, Wang Shenchao and Oscar were all on target, while Yan Junling saved from Korean veteran Lee Dong-gook.
In Ulsan, the home side only needed to avoid defeat to Urawa after last week’s 2-1 away win but they were up against it when Shinzo Koroki headed in Tomoya Ugajin’s cross just before half-time.
With 10 minutes to go, Koroki stole in at the far post for another header before Ewerton wrapped it up for the two-time Asian champions in the 87th minute.


Shane Lowry wins Open Championship, as Englishman Tommy Fleetwood rues missed chances

Updated 30 min 25 sec ago
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Shane Lowry wins Open Championship, as Englishman Tommy Fleetwood rues missed chances

  • The silver claret jug is staying on the Emerald Isle
  • Tommy Fleetwood found it hard to take solace in his second-place finish at the Open

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland: Shane Lowry made the 68 years between Open Championships in Northern Ireland worth the wait.
The silver claret jug is staying on the Emerald Isle.
Lowry, the 32-year-old Irishman with stout nerves and a soft touch around the greens, endured the worst weather of the week and the Sunday pressure of a sellout crowd cheering him along to win the Open by six shots at Royal Portrush.
Even as the rain stopped, the tears began flowing.
“I can’t believe this is me standing here,” Lowry said as he cradled golf’s oldest trophy. “I can’t believe this is mine.”
It was never really in doubt.
Lowry closed with a 1-over 72, the first time since 1996 the Open champion was over par in the final round, and it was no less impressive. More difficult than the rain was wind strong enough to break an umbrella. Lowry began making bogeys in the middle of the round without losing ground. No one from the last 12 groups broke par.
And no one got closer than three shots all day of Lowry, who finished at 15-under 269.
Tommy Fleetwood found it hard to take solace in his second-place finish at the Open as he failed to reel in Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush on Sunday.
The Englishman finished six shots behind Lowry after shooting a three-over par round of 74 in horrendous weather conditions.
But he was left to rue a series of missed chances early on to put pressure on the Irishman.
“If I could pick one event it would be The Open. It’s my dream, and it always will be and you’re teeing off in the last group on Sunday with a very, very good chance,” said Fleetwood.
“It feels a lot rougher finishing when you feel like you’ve come so close to what you’ve dreamt as a kid.”
Fleetwood was still in the hunt at four shots back with six to play, but a double bogey at the 14th realistically ended his challenge.
“Them first few holes, when you start four back are pretty crucial. I didn’t do a good enough job of sort of pressing at that point,” he added.
“Struggled in the middle and four back with six to go and still in it, but 14 was a killer blow.”
American Tony Finau was the only player in the final 10 groups to not finish over par for the day as howling wind and heavy rain made low scoring nearly impossible.
But Fleetwood paid tribute to Lowry’s ability to handle the conditions and the tension to win his first major title with a 72 to finish 15-under par.
“When we got on to eight, nine, 10, just shocking, shocking weather. It was really, really difficult. I made a par on nine that felt like a birdie,” added Fleetwood.
“It was just tough. I think everybody would have got to a point and start going backwards.
“When the winds are like that on a links course, it plays hard, that’s just the way it is. You’ve got to do your bit.
“I think that makes Shane’s round of one-over even more impressive, controlling the day like he did.”

(With AFP and AP)