Sydney FC denied by Shanghai SIPG in pulsating six-goal draw

Sydney FC led three times before being made to settle for a thrilling 3-3 home draw against a star-studded Shanghai SIPG in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday.

Alex Brosque looked to have secured a famous victory when he stepped off the bench and prodded home in the 84th minute, only for Elkeson to deny the Sky Blues their first win of Group H as he thumped home the Chinese Super League champions’ third equaliser of a see-sawing contest late in normal time.

Siem de Jong and Adam Le Fondre had earlier scored in a rollicking four-goal first half but Lu Wenjun and Yu Hai responded on both occasions and the hosts were ultimately forced to accept a second draw in three games, leaving them two points behind their well-resourced opponents.

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Shanghai named gun Brazilian attackers Hulk, Oscar and Elkeson in a team brimming with international talent but it was Sydney FC’s own marquee man who made the first incision in the third minute at Jubilee Stadium.

De Jong, starting ahead of Milos Ninkovic, controlled Zhang Wei’s poor defensive header, turned onto his left and beat Yan Junling with the aid of a healthy deflection off Wei Zhen.

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Siem de Jong

Oscar ballooned a gilt-edged one-on-one opportunity over the crossbar before making amends with a fine cross for Lu’s headed equaliser in the 27th minute.

Le Fondre restored the Sky Blues’ lead five minutes later, the striker blasting home from the spot after He Guan handled a high ball, only for Shanghai to respond in even quicker time.

Hulk made space on the right and dinked in a cute ball that Yu nodded past Andrew Redmayne.

The breathless entertainment continued when Le Fondre broke into the box and unfurled a shot which brushed off Daniel De Silva and into the outside of the near post.

Both defences found more respite after the interval, although the impressive Aaron Calver was required to make an important challenge on striker Hulk.

As the clock ticked past the hour, a hamstring problem forced Michael Zullo to limp off in a potential blow for head coach Corica ahead of this weekend’s Sydney Derby.


Reza Ghoochannejhad twice tested Yan with attempts on goal and it was the Iranian’s downward header from a Le Fondre cross that the goalkeeper parried into Brosque’s path for what seemed a deserved winner in the 84th minute.

But, moments before added time, former Chelsea man Oscar robbed Josh Brillante, surged forward and laid the ball into compatriot Elkeson’s path for the final equaliser.

The goal kept Shanghai SIPG two points ahead of Sydney FC with three games to play, making the April 23 rematch in China a crucial fixture for the Hyundai A-League outfit.

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