Oscar seals Asian quarter-final for China’s SIPG
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 equaliser 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 equaliser, 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.