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AFC fires up as Oscar scores hat-trick

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 894

Pin Oscar's hat-trick helped Shanghai SIPG with crushing victory. AFP
Oscar's hat-trick helped Shanghai SIPG with crushing victory. AFP

AFC fires up as Oscar scores hat-trick

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 894

Former Chelsea star Oscar hit a hat-trick, including a wonderful curling effort from outside the box, to fire Shanghai SIPG into the AFC Champions League last 16 on Tuesday.

The Chinese champions' 5-0 home demolition of a depleted but already qualified Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea dumped Kawasaki Frontale out of Asia's premier club competition.

Kawasaki thrashed a weakened Sydney FC 4-0 away but SIPG squeezed through by a point in Group H over last year's J-League winners.

SIPG made light of the absence of injured captain Hulk and could have taken the lead after six minutes when his fellow Brazilian forward Elkeson headed straight at young stand-in goalkeeper Moon Jung-In.

A minute later the Chinese Super League side did score, the 60-million-euro Oscar playing a clever one-two with Elkeson before firing first time past Moon.

K-League leaders Ulsan had already qualified so made wholsesale changes from the team that won 3-1 at Suwon Bluewings on Saturday.

It showed as Vitor Pereira's SIPG bossed the game at a half-empty Shanghai Stadium.

But with Kawasaki leading 2-0 after 20 minutes at already eliminated Sydney, Pereira's side -- who have never lifted the Champions League -- knew that they had to win.

Oscar's neat first settled the nerves and the attacking midfielder, an Asian-record signing when he joined SIPG from Chelsea in January 2017, made it 2-0 on 42 minutes.

The Brazilian former international, 27, advanced to the edge of the "D" and when nobody challenged him, he picked his spot in Moon's top-left corner.

It was more of the same in the second half and became 3-0 to the hosts when striker Li Shenglong raced unchallenged down the left and smashed the ball past Moon.

Oscar got his deserved third on 76 minutes, his low shot creeping through the legs of the rattled Moon.

Substitute Hu Jinghang made it a five-star night for SIPG.

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