Shanghai survive epic scare to edge Evergrande

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At the end of an extraordinary game in Guangzhou, Shanghai SIPG had to rely on the lottery of the penalty shootouts to reach the final four of the AFC Champions League despite winning the first leg 4-0.



Shanghai SIPG reached their first AFC Champions League semi-final after winning a penalty shootout 5-4 against Guangzhou Evergrande in an extraordinary match that ended 5-5 on aggregate after the hosts came back from a 4-0 first-leg deficit at Tianhe Stadium on Tuesday.

Two-time champions Guangzhou began to make inroads into the scoreline as forward Alan took full advantage of a pair of defensive errors to round goalkeeper Yan Junling on 21 minutes.

And it was the former FC Salzburg man who added his side's second 10 minutes before half-time with a bullet header from Zhang Linpeng's right-wing cross.

Having already passed up a slew of chances, Ricardo Goulart shook the woodwork with a powerful effort on 66 minutes before the 2015 AFC Champions League MVP made up for his prolificacy with a fine diving header to take the difference down to just one goal with six minutes remaining.

The Brazilian then rose highest to head home at the death to unbelievably tie the scores 4-4 on aggregate.

In extra-time, the rollercoaster action didn't stop as first Wang Jiajie was sent off for Shanghai before Hulk curled home a stunning free-kick to put the aggregate score back in Shanghai's favour. Muriqui was then fouled inside the area to see Wang Shenchao dismissed and Shanghai down to nine men, with Goulart completing his hat-trick from the spot.

Goulart went from joy to despair in short order after he hit Guangzhou's opening penalty of the shootout onto the post and Shanghai would go on to score all five of their penalties with Yu Hai converting the final spot-kick to send his side into the last four.

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