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2018 AFC Champions League, Group Stage
  • Pierce Waring (40')
  • Jai Ingham (68')
  • Lin Chuangyi (45')

Pierce Waring, Jai Ingham score as Melbourne Victory hand Shanghai SIPG first defeat

Melbourne Victory's youngsters put on a show, beating Shanghai SIPG 2-1 in the Asian Champions League.

Pierce Waring and Jai Ingham were the unlikely scorers, handing the Chinese Super League leaders their first loss this season in any competition.

The exhibition-style contest on Wednesday, reflected in the team selections, came about after earlier games confirmed Shanghai SIPG's progression and Victory's exit.

Victory coach Kevin Muscat made seven changes from his weekend team and Shanghai's Vito Pereira topped that by making 10.

With little on the line, what followed was an open and lively match in Melbourne.

Christian Theoharous was bright in a wide left role, Josh Hope was busy in the middle and Kenny Athiu threw himself about in customary fashion.

Athiu combined with Waring for Victory's opener, sweeping the ball across the box for the teenager to divert the ball home with the help of a defender's deflection for his first senior strike.

Victory's lead lasted five minutes as Elkeson started a move for the equaliser.

Lu Wenjun raced onto the Brazilian's through ball, cutting back for Lin Chuangyi to score past Matt Acton.

The free-flowing action continued after the break, when Terry Antonis' cross gave Ingham an unmissable chance at the back post.

It was history repeated for the winger, who scored his first Victory goal two years ago in the same fixture.

Shanghai lifted their intensity to avoid defeat, with substitute Hulk particularly driven to cause Victory problems.

He combined with Elkeson to draw a smart save out of Acton on 74 minutes.

But it was Victory's night, which Muscat capped by throwing on 16-year-old Birkan Kirdir for a first appearance with minutes to go.

Muscat praised his side for taking the evening seriously.

"You could see there was a genuine concerted effort from the group," he said.

"There's dangers when there are so many new faces and they haven't played together regularly.

"But there was real good energy, real good effort and some good football."

Beaten coach Vitor Pereira said he was not happy with the result but implied he would not be losing any sleep over it.

"If I have to lose a match, okay, this match is not a problem," he said.

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