The first leg of the 2017 AFC Champions League East semi-final took place on Wednesday night, with Urawa Reds drawing 1-1 at Shanghai SIPG.
Urawa struggled against Shanghai’s powerful attacking squad of Hulk, Oscar and Elkeson from the start. Indeed, it was former Tokyo Verdy player Hulk who netted the opener in the 15th minute with a powerful free kick.
But Urawa goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa responded with a series of fine saves, and the J.League side equalised in the 27th minute when Yosuke Kashiwagi teamed up with Takuya Aoki and Shinzo Koroki to score a brilliant right-footed effort.
Shanghai pushed for the game-winner in the second half but Urawa held strong to maintain the scoreline and leave China with an important away goal and everything to play for in the return leg on October 18 at Saitama Stadium.