Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – Big-money midfielder Oscar missed a second-half penalty as Andre Villas-Boas’s Shanghai SIPG lost 1-0 to Urawa Red Diamonds in their first defeat of this year’s AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
After SIPG went behind to Rafael Silva’s 44th-minute strike, 60-million-euro signing Oscar looked set to maintain SIPG’s unbeaten record in Group F when he won a penalty in the 64th minute.
But the Brazil international, after a stutter run-up, saw his spot-kick palmed onto the bar by Urawa goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa, prompting loud celebrations by the home fans.
The result means the Japanese side replace SIPG at the top of Group F on away goals scored in fixtures between the two sides, after SIPG’s 3-2 win in Shanghai last month.
Alex Teixeira, another expensive Brazilian import to China, fared much better as he scored one and set up two more in Jiangsu Suning’s 3-0 victory over Japan’s Gamba Osaka.
Teixeira slammed a sumptuous opener after just three minutes when he robbed veteran Japan international Yasuhito Endo and surged forward before hitting a powerful finish past Masaaki Higashiguchi.
He teed up his Brazilian compatriot, Ramires, four minutes later with a dangerous ball into the box which the ex-Chelsea man steered past Higashiguchi.
And Teixeira completed the masterclass just before half-time with a pinpoint free kick onto the head of defender Hong Jeong-Ho, who made it 3-0 as Jiangsu stayed top of Group H with a maximum 12 points from four games.
Below them in the same group, Adelaide United resurrected their hopes of reaching the last 16 with a 3-1 away win over Jeju United to climb off the bottom of the standings.
And in Group F, FC Seoul kept their campaign just alive with a 3-2 victory over 2014 champions Western Sydney Wanderers, courtesy of a double from Dejan Damjanovic.
“I’m really happy and finally we won,” said the Montenegrin striker, as he celebrated the first win of the campaign for last year’s semi-finalists.
Of reports linking him to the Wanderers for next season, Damjanovic added: “I am 36 soon and I came to Korea to finish my football, but you never know and my contract finishes in November but my first option is Seoul.”
Seoul’s first points in Group F give them an outside chance of making the knock-out rounds as they are tied on three points with Western Sydney, six behind Urawa and SIPG.
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