Brazilian trio lead Shanghai SIPG to first CSL title

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-08 15:57:20|Editor: Lu Hui
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BEIJING, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- With 32 goals and 34 assists, the Brazilian trio of Hulk, Oscar and Elkeson led Shanghai SIPG to win their first Chinese Super League (CSL) title, overthrowing Guangzhou Evergrande's dynasty of seven consecutive titles from 2011 to 2017.

Shanghai SIPG won the title with one game to spare after they beat Beijing Renhe 2-1 at home in the 29th CSL matchday on Wednesday.

32-year-old SIPG captain Hulk has lived up to his considerable price tag since he joined Shanghai SIPG in June 2016 from Russian side Zenit Saint Petersburg for a reported 56 million euros, a record high in Asian football at the time.

He registered 13 goals and 13 assists this year after scoring 17 goals last season.

27-year-old attacking midfielder Oscar has started in 28 of the 29 games so far this season, and has 12 goals and 18 assists to his name.

Oscar joined Shanghai SIPG in December 2016 from English Premier League club Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles, and the Brazilian recorded three goals and nine assists in his first season in the CSL.

Oscar not only plays an important attacking role, but has also been known to help out defensively.

"The game needed more players in a defensive position, so I had to run more." Oscar said after SIPG beat Beijing Guoan 1-0 in CSL matchday 24.

The final part of the trio, 29-year-old forward Elkeson, has spent the best years of his career in China. He joined Guangzhou Evergrande in December 2012, and helped the club win three consecutive CSL titles from 2013 to 2015, also scooping the Asian Champions League in 2013 and 2015.

Elkeson then transferred to Shanghai SIPG in January 2016. He scored 11 goals in each of the following two seasons, and has seven goals and three assists to his name so far this year.

"My dream is to help Shanghai SIPG win the CSL title, which is also the dream of all my teammates. I must try my best to achieve it," Elkeson said upon his arrival at the club.

Though SIPG's three Brazilians played a vital role in winning the CSL title, head coach Vitor Pereira was at pains to point out that the triumph was the result of a team effort.

"All members of the club put in so much effort this season. We experienced so much, and we did it," Pereira said after SIPG had won the title. "We will fight to defend the championship next season."