Hulk, Oscar on target as Aussies take a hammering
Heavy-spending Shanghai SIPG hammered 2014 champions Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1, while the Brisbane Roar fared even worse, crashing 6-0 to Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea.
Striker Hulk, who blasted a stunning goal to help his team edge out FC Seoul 1-0 last week, found the net again with a third-minute header off a Zhang Wei cross to give the hosts an early advantage in their Group F clash.
Shanghai stretched their lead in the 17th minute through former Chelsea star Oscar, whose right-footed shot from the centre of the box off a Hulk pass gave Sydney goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson no chance.
Sydney briefly put up a fight through Mitch Nichols in the 20th minute, but faded after that as Shanghai and their Brazilian superstars ran riot.
Defender Shi Ke gave Shanghai a 3-1 lead and the bustling Hulk was in the thick of the action again on 27 minutes with a pass to set up yet another Brazilian, Elkeson, for 4-1.
Wu Lei sealed the rout for Shanghai, who despite going goal-crazy trail Urawa Red Diamonds on goal difference after the Japanese similarly ran amok in a 5-2 mauling of FC Seoul in Group F.
Following their 4-0 thrashing of Western Sydney Wanderers last week, the Japanese were quick to take control with Yuki Muto and Tadanari Lee netting within 11 minutes of the start.
However, the goal of the match came from Park Chu-Young, who scored with a stunning free-kick for the visitors.
But Takahiro Sekine, Tomoya Ugajin and Yoshiaki Komai added to Urawa’s tally as an action-packed first half ended 5-1.
Substitute Dejan Damjanovic pulled a consolation back in the 92nd minute for the demoralised Seoul side.
There were goals galore too in Group E, where Kim In-Sung and Mislav Orsic both bagged doubles for Ulsan Hyundai as the Roar barely put up a fight in a 6-0 destruction.
Saudi giants Al Ahli took top spot in Group C after squeezing past Iran’s Zobahan 2-1 for their second straight win despite playing half the game with 10 men.
The two-time runners-up opened the scoring through Abdulfattah Asiri in the 29th minute but Mehdi Rajabzadeh equalised for the Iranians from the spot in first-half stoppage time after Motaz Hawsawi fouled Jerry Bengtson and was sent off.
Omar al-Somah hit the winner with a well-struck free-kick in the 86th minute as Zobahan remained winless in the tournament.
Also in Group C UAE’s Al Ain survived a scare from Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor before winning 3-2 away, but in Group D fellow Emiratis Al Wahda fell to Iran’s Persepolis also 3-2 with Mehdi Taremi scoring twice for the winners in the last 10 minutes.
The late Group D match saw Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal beat Qatar’s Al Rayyan 2-1, the winner a penalty deep into second-half stoppage time by Mohammed al-Shalloub.