AFC Champions League Roundup

Second-placed Shanghai SIPG suffered a 1-0 loss against Japan’s Urawa Reds in the 4th match week in the AFC Champions League. For all his form coming into the game, Oscar was disappointed after missing 2 penalty kicks for Shanghai. Urawa’s Rafael Silva poked home the only goal of the match just before the breather. Shanghai came out of the tunnel filled with intent and piled the pressure on to the Japanese side. They managed to win a penalty in the 64th minute after Oscar was felled in the box. The Brazilian himself stepped up, but Urawa’s Shusaku Nishikawa tipped the spot-kick onto the crossbar. The £60m signing had a chance to redeem himself 12 minutes later after the ball was handled in the area. This time Oscar blazed the kick over the crossbar, possibly hoping to avoid Nishikawa’s fingertips. Despite the loss, Shanghai are all but mathematically secure of a place in the knockout stages. They sit second behind Urawa because of an inferior goal difference but are six points ahead of third placed FC Seoul with two games left.

For all their struggles in the Super League, Jiangsu Suning are in fifth gear in the AFC Champions League. They have already secured qualification to the knockout stage after a comfortable 3-0 win over Gambon Osaka. The 2008 Champions were outclassed in all departments by Jiangsu, who are languishing in the relegation zone in the Super League. Goals from Teixeira and Ramires inside the first 6 minutes sealed victory, before Hong put the icing on the cake with Jiangsu’s third just before the break. Jiangsu are assured of top spot in their group and can afford to rest players in this competition to try and put their domestic campaign back on track.

Two-time Champions Guangzhou Evergrande drew 0-0 away at Kawasaki Frontale. They have six points from four matches and this season has been far from straightforward for the Chinese Champions. Japanese side Suwon defeated Eastern 5-0 and moved to the top the group with eight points. The two sides meet on the matchday day, in what could prove to be a very important match in Guangzhou’s season. Guangzhou are two points behind Suwon but two ahead of Kawasaki.