Lyu Wenjun (3rd R) of Shanghai SIPG celebrates his goal against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in their 2020 AFC Champions League opener in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 22, 2020. (Photo by Nikku/Xinhua)
DOHA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Hulk's late penalty secured Shanghai SIPG's second straight victory in the 2020 AFC Champions League, while CSL giants Guangzhou Evergrande drew 0-0 with Suwon Bluewings in their group opener.
SIPG broke the deadlock in the 11th minute when Lyu Wenjun beat Jeonbuk goalkeeper Song Bum-keun.
Jeonbuk leveled up in the 24th minute after Gustavo Henrique Sousa finished from Kim Bok-yung's assist.
Both sides missed chances at the start of the second half. SIPG brought on their overseas midfield duo of Oscar and Aaron Mooy and started to gain the upper hand, with Mooy's volley hitting the post in the 56th minute.
With former Brazil international Hulk's appearance in the 63rd minute, the 2018 Chinese Super League winners began to play some fine attacking football.
In the 81st minute, Hulk converted in a penalty won by Oscar to help SIPG retake the lead they would hold to the final whistle.
Jang Ho-ik (above L) of Suwon Samsung Bluewings goes up for a header with Gao Late (above R) of Guangzhou Evergrande during their AFC Champions League tie in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 22, 2020. (Photo by Nikku/Xinhua)
Meanwhile, 2013 and 2015 AFC Champions League winners Guangzhou Evergrande were missing midfielders Zheng Zhi and Paulinho for their match against Suwon Bluewings, and resorted to finding chances on the counterattack.
Suwon Bluewings almost took the lead in the 58th minute, but Kim Tae-hwan's long shot went wide. In the 75th minute, Wei Shihao almost netted the winner for the Evergrande, but the Chinese star missed from close range.
Evergrande defender Zhang Linpeng suffered an eye injury and was taken to hospital, making the 2020 Chinese Super League runners-up use up all the available substitutes with 12 minutes remaining.
Evergrande's solid defense helped them see out the match and take one point from their first Champions League game this season. ■