SIPG shines away as Shenhua rallies to hold Guo'an at home

Oscar contributed a brace and two assists in Shanghai SIPG's 5-1 victory at Beijing Renhe in the Chinese Super League at the weekend.

Oscar contributed a brace and two assists in Shanghai SIPG’s 5-1 victory at Beijing Renhe in the Chinese Super League at the weekend while Shanghai Greenland Shenhua drew 2-2 with another capital team and league leader Beijing Guo’an thanks to a last-minute own goal.

Vitor Pereira’s SIPG was eliminated from the Chinese FA Cup after losing to Guo’an in a penalty shootout in the second leg of their quarterfinal at Shanghai Stadium on Wednesday. The CSL remains the team’s only hope for silverware this year.

Wu Lei opened the scoring with a header from an Oscar corner in the 19th minute. It was Wu’s 88th CSL goal, tying the record held by former Shandong striker Han Peng. Wu now leads the 2018 CSL scoring chart with 13 goals — two more than Guangzhou R&F’s Israeli striker Eran Zahavi and Guo’an’s Cedric Bakambu from Congo.

Belgium midfielder Masika equalized for Renhe in the 42nd before He Guan gave SIPG the lead again at the end of the first half. Oscar completed his brace scoring in the 52nd and 70th, and then assisted in U23 midfielder Lei Wenjie’s injury-time strike for SIPG’s fifth goal.

The last time SIPG, a team known for its attacking ability, scored five goals in one match was back in March when it beat R&F 5-2 in the CSL. Pereira said lack of training due to a tight schedule was one of the major reasons (for the lack of goals).

“We will find our scoring ability back as long as there is time for training. We focused on freekick training during the summer break, and there will be improvements,” said the Portuguese.

The upcoming schedule is not easy as the team has seven CSL matches to play from August 1 to September 1, including the Shanghai derby on August 11.

“We need to do more rotation in the next matches,” said Pereira. “We did a lot of travel for away games in the first half of the season, so we need to find some solutions from inside the team. Today’s match is a strong signal that the substitutes are ready to contribute to the team.”

With 27 points, SIPG is third in the 16-team standing which is led by Guo’an on 29. Shandong Luneng is second on 28 points.

Also on Saturday, Guo’an took on Shenhua at Hongkou Football Stadium. Renato Augusto and Bakambu helped the visitors to take the lead twice, but an own goal by former SIPG winger Wei Shihao in injury time fell into the top right corner of Beijing’s goal. The game ended 2-2.

Wei was sent as a substitute in the 90th by German manager Roger Schmidt.

Shenhua shares fifth place with Jiangsu Suning on 22 points.

Yesterday, Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergranda thrashed Chongqing Lifan 5-0 while his ex-team Tianjin Quanjian won 2-0 at home to Changchun Yatai. Defending champion Guangzhou is fourth on 24 points. Quanjian (21) is seventh. Guangzhou and SIPG have played 13 games, one less than the other teams.

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