WSW powerless as SIPG make statement

It may well be that Australian teams are having a hard time in the AFC Champions League so far but in this instance at least, there are not many teams in Asia that could have stopped Shanghai in the mood it was in.

There may have been some seriously high temperatures in Sydney recently but on a chilly night in China, Shanghai SIPG were red-hot going forward in defeating Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1 in a display of attacking football rarely seen in Asia.

Talking to home fans arriving after school and work to the Shanghai Stadium, there was genuine excitement among fans that SIPG can win either the Chinese Super League or the AFC Champions League this season.

Wanderers outclassed by Shanghai SIPG in ACL

At the moment, it is two wins from two in the continental competition. 

The Hyundai A-League team, winner in 2014, did not play badly in this arena that is part of the Shanghai bustle not far from the city’s downtown, but were just swept aside in the first half by the host’s attacking prowess.

Mitch Nichols reacts with despair following the Wanderers loss to Shanghai SIPG in the ACL.

Hulk makes the headlines and sometimes deserves them. 

The striker may have cost around $75 million but has already scored two spectacular strikes, a 25 yard rocket that won the game at FC Seoul last week, and a towering header that started the scoring on Tuesday in just the third minute. 

His goal in Korea Republic may have looked better but his performance at home was more impressive.

The striker turned provider soon after for Oscar and was to prove a thorn in the side of Western Sydney Wanderers all night. 

Powerful and intelligent, Hulk never stopped working and he could easily have come away with more than the one goal.

Hulk and Oscar

With the experienced Cui Huikang in the middle and Oscar and the under-rating driving force that is Uzbekistan star Odil Ahmedov, then Shanghai has a midfield of creativity, guile, energy and discipline.

It is early in the season but it protects the backline well while obviously helping to supply the front three that just have goals written all over them. 

Elkeson is the highest foreign goalscorer in Chinese Super League history and has netted decisive goals in both finals of the 2013 and 2015 AFC Champions League that Guangzhou Evergrande won.

Wu Lei was the only Chinese name in the top ten goalscorers in the league last season and he gave Wanderers defence a night to remember, or forget. And then there was Hulk.

Western Sydney Wanderers did not play badly. Indeed, the visitors enjoyed considerably more possession than the hosts. 

It was just that Shanghai SIPG have a forward unit that cost close to $150 million and gave a clinical display of attacking football that looked to be worth every penny.

At the end, the home fans headed to the various subway stations that lie in the station’s vicinity. They were cold but thrilled to have seen something that has been rarely sighted on Chinese soil for quite some time.