Victory suffer ACL defeat in Shanghai
Melbourne Victory have slumped to their first loss of the 2018 AFC Champions League campaign, going down 4-1 to Shanghai SIPG in China on Tuesday night.
A second-half brace from Brazilian star Oscar, a Hulk penalty and a Wu Lei header saw Shanghai to victory Group F.
Besart Berisha struck from the spot in the second half for Victory, which had its moments at different times throughout the encounter.
Victory looked bright early in cold and wet conditions as its attacking quartet of Berisha, James Troisi, Leroy George and Kosta Barbarouses combined well.
The visitor created a good chance in the ninth minute, Leigh Broxham firing over from an angle after getting on the end of a Terry Antonis pass.
But Shanghai threatened five minutes later as Elkeson volleyed wide after a Hulk cross from the right.
In an entertaining start, Victory went close again in the 16th minute as George – who scored twice and had an assist against Ulsan Hyundai – twisted and turned on the right side of the area before firing wide.
Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas was forced into two saves soon after, while an Antonis strike from just inside the area was briefly spilled by Yan Junling before the Shanghai shot-stopper recovered.
The host opened the scoring in the 27th minute, Hulk converting from the penalty spot after a Jason Geria handball in the area.
Shanghai doubled its lead four minutes prior to the break, Wu diving at a Wang Shenchao cross from the right and heading past Thomas.
Berisha found the back of the net from a Geria cross before half-time, but the striker was offside, while George fired over after being put in behind by Barbarouses.
Oscar made it 3-0 early in the second half, his 25-yard strike taking a deflection before finding the bottom corner.
A fine team move led to a Victory chance in the 56th minute, but Troisi side-footed wide after Broxham was released down the left.
Oscar chipped a chance wide after a brilliant Hulk pass before Victory pulled a goal back, Berisha converting from the penalty spot following a handball in the area.
But Oscar sealed Shanghai's win with a fine effort, curling a strike into the far corner to make it 4-1.