Shanghai Shenhua faced a 2-2 draw against Kashima Antlers in an intense Asian Champions League encounter on Tuesday. The result marks Shanghai Shenhua’s fourth draw in the competition, emphasizing the closely contested nature of Group H.
Nigerian football star Obafemi Martins, who showcased his goal-scoring prowess with a hat-trick in the recent 4-2 Chinese Super League triumph against Hebei CFFC, found himself substituted after 22 minutes of play against Kashima Antlers. The abrupt substitution, apparently prompted by suspected injury concerns, adds an element of worry for Shanghai Shenhua.
The contest saw Giovanni Andres Moreno confidently convert a penalty in the 13th minute to give Shanghai Shenhua an early lead. Jianqing Mao further extended their advantage, finding the net in the 28th minute of the first half. Kashima Antlers fought back with determination, as Yuma Suzuki narrowed the deficit before Leandro leveled the score at 2-2 in the 63rd minute.
Shanghai Shenhua now occupies the fourth spot in Group H with four points from five games. Their prospects for advancing to the next round hinge on securing a victory in their upcoming clash. Obafemi Martins and his Shanghai Shenhua teammates are slated to face Sydney FC in the final group game on April 17.
In a parallel group match on Tuesday, Suwon Bluewings from Korea endured a 4-1 defeat against Australia’s Sydney FC, contributing to the unpredictable dynamics of the Asian Champions League.