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.


Steady Nadal beats animated Kyrgios in 4 at Australian Open

Updated 27 January 2020

Steady Nadal beats animated Kyrgios in 4 at Australian Open

  • Top-ranked Nadal kept his thoughts to himself and limited his shot-making to the more traditional variety
  • Nick Kyrgios delivered 25 aces and some memorable moments

MELBOURNE, Australia: Rafael Nadal left the muttering and the preening, the underarm serving and the ‘tweening, to his younger, flashier opponent, Nick Kyrgios.
Surely, Nadal was content to collect the win in the latest installment of their rivalry.
The No. 1-ranked Nadal kept his thoughts to himself and limited his shot-making to the more traditional variety in an entertaining 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) victory over home-crowd favorite Kyrgios on Monday to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals and get closer to a record-tying 20th Grand Slam title.
Here’s how the elevated stakes and tension affected both men: At 5-all in the pivotal third-set tiebreaker, Kyrgios double-faulted. That offered up a gift-wrapped set point. But Nadal failed to take advantage because he double-faulted right back.
Still, two points later, the 23rd-seeded Kyrgios put a forehand into the net, and the set was Nadal’s. Not long after, Kyrgios double-faulted again to get broken at love.
That put Nadal ahead 2-1 in the fourth, seemingly in control. He faltered, though, while serving for the win at 5-4, double-faulting to create a pair of break points, the second of which Kyrgios converted with a jumping forehand and celebrated by throwing his head back and screaming. Spectators rose and roared and waved their Australian flags in support of the 24-year-old from Canberra.
Kyrgios delivered 25 aces and some memorable moments — including walking out on court and warming up for the match in a No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers jersey to honor Kobe Bryant, the five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star who died in a helicopter crash Sunday at age 41.
Nadal was just the better player overall. One measure: Nadal finished with more than twice as many winners, 64, as unforced errors, 27.