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Wanderers down SIPG as AFC Champions League last-16 settled


Sydney (AFP) – Western Sydney Wanderers pinched only their second win of this season’s AFC Champions League with a late winner over big-spending Shanghai SIPG in their final group game in Sydney on Wednesday.

Jaushua Sotirio had a tap-in in the 89th-minute to claim a 3-2 win for the 2014 AFC Champions League winners who grabbed a consolation win after failing to qualify for the last 16.

SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas didn’t risk his star Brazilians Oscar and Hulk given his Chinese Super League giants were already safely through to the knockout stages.

Shanghai found the net after just 21 seconds through Wu Lei but Wanderers scored the next two goals through Japanese Jumpei Kusukami and Steven Lustica in the space of three minutes to lead 2-1 in the sixth minute.

Spanish defender Aritz Borda conceded a penalty which Brazilian Elkeson converted in the 23rd-minute penalty to equalise.

The game looked like petering out to a draw in the second half before Jumpei claimed another assist for Sotirio to prod home.

Shanghai SIPG finished second in Group F to Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds, who lost 1-0 to FC Seoul in Korea courtesy of Yoon Seung-Won’s 38th minute goal.

It means Shanghai face a mouthwatering all-China last-16 clash against Group H winners Jiangsu Suning with the first leg in two weeks time, while Urawa will have Korean opposition in Jeju United.

Japan’s Kashima Antlers ensured they would top Group E — and face a last-16 encounter against China’s two-time Asian Champions Guangzhou Evergrande — thanks to a 2-1 win at home to Thailand’s Muangthong United, who are also through.

But Kashima needed a controversial winner from Yuma Suzuki, whose second goal of the game in the 60th minute appeared to be scored with his left arm.

Muangthong’s Teerasil Dangda had earlier equalised Suzuki’s 18th-minute opener with a searing strike from outside the box on the stroke of half-time.

Muangthong will face Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale in the knockout stages.

South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai came from behind to beat Brisbane Roar 3-2 in a battle for the Group E wooden spoon in Brisbane.

A-League marksman Jamie Maclaren put Roar ahead with two first-half goals after a goalkeeping howler from Jamie Young had gifted Ulsan the lead in the ninth minute.

Ulsan equalised through Nam Hee-Cheol off a misjudged backpass from Tommy Oar in the 54th minute before substitute Kim Young-Jin scored off a free kick to put them ahead.

Ulsan’s victory gave them third place in Group E with Roar finishing last.

AFC Champions League (eastern region) knockout stage draw: Muangthong United (THA) v Kawasaki Frontale (JPN), Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN) v Kashima Antlers (JPN), Shanghai SIPG (CHN) v Jiangsu Suning (CHN), Jeju Utd (KOR) v Urawa Reds (JPN)

First leg to be played May 23/24. Second leg May 30/31. 

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