Brazilian star Elkeson was the hero for Shanghai SIPG on Saturday evening, hitting a hat-trick as Shanghai SIPG began their 2017 Chinese Super League campaign with a 5-1 victory over Changchun Yatai.
CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE
Shanghai SIPG 1
Wu Lei (pen) 90
Changchun Yatai 1
Fan Xiaodong 26
It was Changchun Yatai who took a surprising lead midway through the first-half with central midfielder Fan Xiaodong striking a stunning left-foot volley into the top corner from 20-yards out.
The away side’s advantage, though, lasted just eight minutes when new SIPG signing Oscar was felled in the Changchun area. Fellow Brazilian Hulk made no mistake from the spot.
Shortly before half-time, SIPG were ahead as Oscar turned supplier once more to provide for Elkeson who twisted and turned before firing low into the net. After the break, the former Evergrande man doubled his tally with an unmarked header from Hulk’s in-swinging corner.
Already comfortably ahead, Elkeson further added to Changchun’s misery to complete his hat-trick on the hour-mark, combining well with both Oscar and Wu Lei, before Wu completed the rout in the final minute after a fast SIPG counter left Changchun’s defence in disarray.
For expensive recruits Odion Ighalo and Marinho, it was a tough first day at the office in Yatai colours.
Under-23 watch: Shanghai SIPG substituted 18-year-old midfielder Zhang Huachen after just 30 minutes, with the score 1-0 to Changchun.
Changchun’s 18-year-old winger Zhou Dadi, meanwhile, managed only until half-time.