Elkeson double fires Shanghai top of AFC Champions League group

Doha (AFP) - Brazilian forward Elkeson's double strike fired Shanghai SIPG to the top of their AFC Champions League group with a 2-1 win over Gamba Osaka on Tuesday.

Elkeson, off-loaded by reigning Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande in January, looked an increasingly important signing as he sealed SIPG's second win in Group G.

It was enough for Sven-Goran Eriksson's side to leapfrog Melbourne Victory, who were held 0-0 by South Korea?s Suwon Samsung Bluewings in a combative contest earlier.

Elkeson put SIPG ahead with a finish from close range on 41 minutes as the home side dominated.

And after his Brazilian opposite number Patric nodded Gamba level on the hour-mark, Elkeson popped up again with the match-winning strike just two minutes later.

The decisive goal may have made uncomfortable viewing for Evergrande fans as it came from a cross by Dario Conca, Elkeson?s former team-mate at the Asian and Chinese title-holders.

Meanwhile big-spending Chinese team Jiangsu Suning's unconvincing campaign remained stuck in second gear with a 0-0 draw away to FC Tokyo.

It was FC Tokyo who looked likelier to win, with goalkeeper Zhang Sipeng forced into a reaction save in the second half and Hiroki Kawano seeing a deflected header drop just wide.

The draw left Jiangsu second in Group E behind 2006 champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, who beat bottom-placed Vietnamese outfit Binh Duong 2-0.

In Melbourne, A-League champions Victory were frustrated by a disciplined Suwon defence, although the goalless draw meant they remained unbeaten in their three games so far.

Chances were at a premium with Kwak Hee-Ju man-marking leading Victory scorer Besart Berisha so closely that he didn?t have any shots at goal in the 90 minutes.

"They are a very difficult team to break down, they're so disciplined," Victory coach Kevin Muscat said.

"When you're that disciplined and you?ve got a work ethic like Suwon have then they are difficult to break down but we did create some decent chances, particularly in the first half.?

Victory veteran Archie Thompson had the ball in the back of the net in the 53rd minute after heading in from a corner, but was ruled offside.

In Group A, a double by Brazilian Nilmar helped the UAE's Al Nasr beat Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad 2-1 to go top with two wins from three matches.

At the King Abdulla Sports City in Jeddah, Nilmar put Al Nasr ahead as early as the first minute, but Venezuelan Gelmin Rivas equalized for the Saudi side in the 13th.

Both side missed chances but Nilmar put the issue beyond doubt in the 74th minute after an assist from Burkina Faso player Jonathan Pitroipa.

Also in Group A match, Uzbekistan's Lokomotiv took their first win in three matches, beating Iran?s Foolad Sepahan 2-0 with Marat Bikmaev and Sardor Mirzayev on target.

At a rain-soaked Foolad Shahr Stadium, Bikmaev put the Uzbeks ahead with a clean finish in the 15th minute off a Sanjar Shaakhmedov pass before Mirzayev sealed the win with just three minutes remaining, beating goalkeeper Rahman Ahmadi after an assist from Server Djeparov.

Another Uzbek side, Pakhtakor, also won their first match, beating Iran?s Tractorsazi Tabriz 1-0 in Group C in Tashkent.

Igor Sergeev was the hero for the hosts, scoring with a powerful shot in the 41st minute after controlling Akbarjon Ismatullaev?s long pass just outside the penalty area.

However, despite the loss Tractorsazi still leading the group with six points from three matches after Al Jazira and Al Hilal played out a 1-1 draw in a late match.

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