SIPG peg back Jeonbuk’s flying start for 1-1 draw

Shanghai SIPG's Wang Shenchao celebrates during their AFC Champions League round of 16 match against Jeonbuk. (AFP)
Updated 20 June 2019

SIPG peg back Jeonbuk’s flying start for 1-1 draw

SAITAMA: Jeonbuk Motors got off to a flying start in the AFC Champions League last 16 on Wednesday, scoring in the first minute in Shanghai before being pegged back by SIPG in a 1-1 draw.

On a good night for South Korean sides, Ulsan came from a goal down to stun Urawa Red Diamonds 2-1 in Saitama in the earlier first-leg encounter.

Jeonbuk silenced the sea of red-clad supporters in the Shanghai Stadium in the opening seconds when Moon Seon-min stole in to lift Lim Seon-yeong’s through ball over onrushing goalkeeper Yan Junling.

In a bruising encounter between the champions of China and South Korea, Shanghai SIPG’s Brazilian imports Oscar, Hulk and Elkeson created a string of chances, though Jeonbuk carried a potent threat on the break.

Hulk went close twice before the home side deservedly levelled in the 39th minute.

Right wing-back Wang Shenchao found himself in space in the center of the box as he got on the end of Yu Hai’s cross and equalized with a neat header.

Hulk rampaged through in first-half stoppage time with a chance to put SIPG in front after being fed by Elkeson’s header.

But after rounding goalkeeper Song Beom-Keun the angle was too tight and the burly striker’s shot agonizingly hit the post and rebounded to safety.

The second half was more scrappy and Jeonbuk will be the happier of the two sides after claiming a draw and an away goal ahead of the second leg in Jeonju next Wednesday.

Earlier, away goals from Joo Min-kyu and Hwang Il-su gave Ulsan a precious 2-1 win against Urawa Reds to take back to Korea for next week’s second leg.

In a battle of former Asian champions, Urawa dominated in the first half and were rewarded for their efforts when a delightfully chipped ball from Takuya Aoki in the 37th minute was met by Kenyu Sugimoto’s glancing header.

Ulsan had barely threatened till that point, but it took them just five minutes to get back on terms.

A mistake in midfield enabled the lively Lee Keun-ho to burst down the left flank and drive in a cross that was met by a powerful headed finish from Joo.

The goal lifted the visitors and the lively goal provider Lee twice went close to putting Ulsan ahead after the break.

First a rasping volley from the edge of the box flew just wide then a near-post flick found the side netting.

In the 80th minute substitute Hwang ran almost unopposed to the edge of the box before drilling home a left-foot shot for the winner.

Junior Negrao should have made it three shortly after, but somehow cleared the crossbar from close range.


Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

Updated 33 min 55 sec ago

Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

  • Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation

MOSCOW: Russian high jump world champion Maria Lasitskene on Tuesday accused her country’s own sports authorities of failing to protect athletes from the deepening doping crisis, in a rare public broadside at top officials.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday handed Russia a new, this time four-year, ban from top global sporting events, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup, for tampering with laboratory data.

The ruling means Russian athletes cleared to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will do so under a neutral flag. But Lasitskene and some other Russian track and field athletes face additional obstacles to being cleared for competition.

“I’ve already missed one Olympics and one-and-a-half years of international competition,” Lasitskene wrote in an open letter addressed to Russia’s sports authorities.

“And it seems that’s not the end of it. So who ultimately is to blame? Who’s going to give me back what I’ve lost?” she wrote in the letter published on Russian sports media outlet Championat.Com.

Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation, which has been suspended for doping since 2015, and has been one of the few Russian athletes to voice her anger publicly.

World Athletics, the global body governing athletics, last month halted the reinstatement procedures for Russia’s athletics federation after its president and six others were provisionally suspended for serious breaches of anti-doping rules.

As a result of these fresh sanctions, World Athletics also said it was reviewing the process it has used in the past to clear some Russians, including Lasitskene, to compete internationally as neutrals.

“Why have we arrived at a situation when an athlete is supposed to be delighted about getting neutral status?” Lasitskene wrote.

“Was the Sports Ministry and Russian Olympic Committee really happy with the Russian athletics federation’s work?”

The president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, on Monday dismissed the sanctions against Russia as inappropriate and excessive.