Shanghai Greenland Shenhua lost both rounds of derbies in this year’s Chinese Super League after another 0-2 defeat to city rival SIPG at Shanghai Stadium on Saturday.
Wu Lei and Brazilian striker Hulk scored in the second half. It was Wu’s 89th goal in CSL, the most for one player in China’s top-tier league. The 26-year-old is also leading this year’s CSL scorer‚ standing on 14 goals.
SIPG’s Portuguese manager Vitor Pereira started with the team’s Brazilian trio of Hulk, Oscar and Elkeson. Shenhua replaced injured Fredy Guarin with Oscar Romero, who partnered Demba Ba and captain Giovanni Moreno.
The clash was evenly contested in the early stages until Elkeson and Wu both missed gilt-edged chances from close-range in the 39th and 45th minute respectively.
The opener came seven minutes into the second half.
Wu received a freekick from Oscar and volleyed the ball home. Shenhua had a chance to equalize in the 65th minute when Moreno sent the ball slightly over the bar when face-to-face with SIPG goalie Yan Junling.
The hosts strengthened the lead in the 72nd minute before Hulk was fouled in Shenhua’s box by midfielder Zhang Lu. The Brazilian netted from the penalty spot for his sixth CSL goal of the season.
Pereira gave high praise to his players, especially Wu Lei in his post-match press conference.
“Wu has the skills and personality to be a top scorer,” said Pereira.
“But what makes me happier is that when I ask him to play in defense, he is always there for the team. We deserve the victory.
“We spent a lot of time analyzing other teams and practicing scoring in particular ways. Today it worked and Wu Lei’s goal was an excellent one from a top-level Chinese player.”
His counterpart Wu Jingui was content with his team’s performance despite the result.
“Both sides played a good match. Our players followed the pre-match instructions, though we need to improve some details, including conceding goals from freekicks,” said Wu.
Wu’s team was defeated by SIPG 0-2 at Hongkou Football Stadium in their first derby clash earlier this year in March.
SIPG is now third in the 16-team league with 33 points with a game in hand, three points less than leaders Beijing Guo’an, followed by Shandong Luneng on 35pts. Shenhua is seventh on 23pts.
Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergrande is fourth in the league on 30pts with one match in hand.
The defending champion took a 2-1 first half lead in their match against Changchun Yatai on Saturday.
But a brace by Changchun striker Tan Long in the second half deprived them of all three points.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Football Association gave Changchun midfielder Zhang Li a six-match ban and fined him 42,000 yuan (US$6,135) for “interfering with the order of the match and causing chaos that had a negative effect for the public” during their CSL match against Shenhua on August 4.
Zhang was said to have used insulting language, which included the words “You black” towards Shenhua’s Senegal striker Demba Ba in a dispute late during the 1-1 draw in Changchun.
The CFA launched an investigation and invited both parties to Beijing last week for a hearing before issuing the punishment.