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Shanghai draw at Kawasaki to stay in Asian CL playoffs hunt

By JOHN DUERDENMay 7, 2019

Shanghai SIPG stayed on track for the Asian Champions League playoffs at the expense of J-League titleholder Kawasaki Frontale after a comeback 2-2 draw on Tuesday.

The point meant Shanghai remained second in Group H and Kawasaki third with a last round of group matches left. Ulsan won the group and eliminated Australian participation by beating Sydney 1-0. Max Diskerud scored from a backheel in the second half.

After a draw with Ulsan at home two weeks ago, Kawasaki desperately needed a home win, but Shanghai’s Hulk dented those plans after only six minutes on a counterattack which he finished by rounding the goalkeeper.

Kawasaki hit back quickly through Leandro Damiao, and led in the second half thanks to Shogo Taniguchi. But Kawasaki’s celebrations were muted almost immediately when Hulk struck a running header off a cross by Oscar to level the score.

Shanghai can clinch a spot in the last 16 when it hosts Ulsan in two weeks, when Kawasaki has to travel to Sydney.

GROUP G

A first-half header from Kim Shin-wook sent South Korean powerhouse Jeonbuk Motors, champion in 2006 and 2016, to the last 16 as Group G winner when they beat Beijing Guoan 1-0.

Beijing, level on points with Urawa Red Diamonds, meet in a winner-takes-all match in two weeks in Saitama, Japan.

Buriram United 1, Urawa Red Diamonds 2,

Urawa, the champion in 2007 and 2017, defeated Thailand champion Buriram United 2-1. Shinzo Koriki and Yuki Moto scored early on around a goal by Buriram’s Pedro Junior.

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