Shanghai beat Guangzhou on penalties for AFC Champions League semis



GUANGZHOU, China, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai SIPG reached their first AFC Champions League semifinals, winning a penalty shootout 5-4 against Guangzhou Evergrande here on Tuesday evening.

Both sides ended their two-leg quarterfinals 5-5 on aggregate after the two-time champions rallied from a 4-0 first-leg deficit, scoring four goals on home turf to force the extra times where they played to a 1-1 tie.

Alan dribbled past keeper Yan Junling to break the deadlock in the 21st minute, then the 28-year-old headed home a fine cross from Zhang Linpeng in the 34th minute.

Before the half break, Guangzhou almost made it 3-0, only to see Ricardo Goulart narrowly miss the target in the 42nd minute.

The home side again dominated the second half, only to see Goulart hit the woodwork on the 66th minute. The 2015 MVP then scored with a diving header to cut the deficit to one goal with six minutes remaining.

Later on, the Brazilian rose high to head home the equalizer for a 4-4 scoreline on aggregate.

During the extra-time, Shanghai's defender Wang Jiajie was sent off, but Hulk curled home a stunning free-kick to take the lead for the visitors again in the 108th minute.

In the 115th minute, Muriqui was fouled inside the box to see Wang Shenchao dismissed and Goulart came out to convert the penalty to complete his hat-trick.

Yet, Goulart was crestfallen after he hit the opening penalty of the shootout onto the post, while Shanghai eventually scored all of their five penalties with Yu Hai converting the final spot-kick to send his side into the last four.