Shanghai draw with Urawa Reds

The first leg of the two East-Asian semi-finals took place for the Asian Champions League on Tuesday. In this game, we saw Shanghai SIPG draw 2-2 with the J League side Urawa Reds at the Shanghai Stadium.

The CSL come back from two goals

In front of a crowd of 24,573 SIPG got off to the worse possible start as Urawa Reds went ahead inside three minutes. The goal came with goalkeeper Yan Junling failing to keep hold of a simple cross. This resulted in the ball landing at the feet of the Reds defender Tomoaki Makino who made no mistake tapping into the empty net. 

Both sides looked to make more of an impact on the match. Although after the goal, neither team had many chances in the opening half-hour. The closest coming before the second from the head of Maurício for the away side. 

Then on 30 minutes, it was two and again this wasn't the prettiest of goals, but Urawa Reds would not have cared. The goal arrived as a long ball came forward from Kazuki Nagasawa then with the two SIPG defenders ball watching Shinzo Koroki slotted home through Yan Junling's legs. 

The large following from Japan were enjoying the match at this point and am sure they were excited about the second leg. Things could have been better before the break also as Nagasawa tested the keeper on 32 minutes. 

It looked like the luck for the home side might have been in though as after a weak opening 45 minutes just four minutes into the second half they had a penalty. This came after Oscar danced in the box and was brought down by Maurício.

This was a clear penalty and Hulk made no mistake putting it into the corner of the net even with the keeper guessing the right way. That clearly gave the home side confidence as soon after Hulk came close as he hit the post from close range.

The home side looked like they could find the equaliser and they did just that on 70 minutes. This came with the ball hitting the hand of the unfortunate Maurício. This was a harsh decision, but by the rules of the game, the penalty was the correct call.

Hulk didn't wait around in any case and slotted home his second spot-kick in precisely the same place as the first. This time the keeper Nishikawa dived the wrong way so had no chance.

That was to be that in a match with four goals but not a lot of goalmouth action. With the tie now evenly matched the sides will go again after the international break on the 17th September at the Saitama Stadium 2002.

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