Sven shrugs off penalty row as Shanghai SIPG slip up in China

Shanghai (AFP) – Sven-Goran Eriksson shrugged off a penalty decision that sparked furious scenes as his Shanghai SIPG side slipped further behind in the Chinese title race with a 2-1 defeat to big-spending Jiangsu Suning.

Eriksson preferred not to dwell on the crucial moment in the second half, when Yu Hai was harshly penalised for a tackle on Alex Teixeira with the scores at 1-1.

Former Manchester City striker Jo netted the winner from the spot, after SIPG’s Asamoah Gyan had cancelled out ex-Chelsea man Ramires’s 20th-minute opener.

At the final whistle, incensed SIPG players surrounded and pushed the referee, who showed a red card to midfielder Lu Wenjun.

“We played much better football and on the pitch we were the better team, but we lost — that’s football,” said the Swede, adding that he didn’t see the penalty incident clearly.

“If I am sitting here and protesting, then it’s stupid and I have lost twice, and I lost once already today,” Eriksson said. 

The match was Jiangsu’s first under caretaker boss Tang Jing after the moneybags club sacked Dan Petrescu earlier this month.

Jiangsu, whose owners, retail group Suning, announced a takeover of Italy’s Inter Milan last week, stay third in the Chinese Super League, four points clear of SIPG.

Brazilian forward Ramires, who cost 28 million euros ($32 million) from Chelsea in January, opened the scoring for Jiangsu in the 20th minute.

Former Sunderland striker Gyan equalised in the 62nd minute in front of 32,426 fans at Shanghai Stadium, before Jo’s penalty four minutes later.

Jiangsu now lie just one point behind Hebei China Fortune — the club of former Paris Saint-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi — who beat Shandong Luneng 2-1 at home.

Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Guangzhou Evergrande were held 0-0 at home by unfashionable Shijiazhuang Everbright, but they remain top of the league with a three-point cushion over Hebei.

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