Shanghai SIPG have sneaked into the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League after they defeated Guangzhou Evergrande 5-4 on penalties after the two-legged tie ended in a 5-5 draw.
SIPG initially squandered a 4-0 first-leg lead, but with Tuesday night’s game eventually ending in a 5-5 aggregate draw after extra time, they were forced into a penalty shootout where they scraped by with a 5-4 score.
It was a thrilling game between the Chinese Super League’s top two teams, with Guangzhou’s Alan Carvalho opening the scoring in the 21st minute, after he capitalized on a defensive mix up. The Brazilian striker finished off with a brace in the 35th minute. Follow all our football predictions here.
Ricardo Goulart scored a hat-trick in the 83rd minute 90*1 and his last was a penalty in 118th.
SIPG left it late to score, waiting until extra time to pull one back in the 97th minute through Jiajie Wang and Hulk from a free kick in the 110th minute.
The match was not without controversy with SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas furious at having two players sent off during the game and also for a yellow card for his goalkeeper Yan Junling during the penalty shoot-out which means he is suspended for the first leg of the semi-final.
Villas-Boas who took over from former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2016, also accused Evergrande of engineering car accidents as his team travelled to Tuesday’s Asian Champions League quarter-final.
Video footage posted online, apparently shot from the SIPG team coach on the way to the game, appears to show a succession of five holds-ups on the road involving the same cars in the southern Chinese city.
SIPG will face either of the Japanese teams Kawasaki Frontale or Urawa Red Diamonds in the last four. It is a first ACL semifinal for SIPG in its short history.