Chinese title-holders Shanghai SIPG suffered a setback in their quest for a first AFC Champions League crown when they lost 1-0 to South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai on Wednesday.
Brazilian stars Oscar and Hulk, whose late penalty secured last week’s 1-0 win over Kawasaki Frontale, failed to inspire a second victory as SIPG dropped off the top of Group H.
Elsewhere in the same group, Manabu Saito’s 83rd-minute winner grabbed all three points for Kawasaki Frontale as they beat Sydney FC 1-0.
Oscar, Asia’s record signing, had the best chances for SIPG but the visitors were undone by slack defending from a corner when Junior Negrao headed the winner on 66 minutes.
Ex-Chelsea man Oscar’s shot from distance, after snapping up a loose ball in midfield, was the best chance of a tepid first half at Ulsan Munsu stadium.
But Ulsan were the more threatening side after the break and the unmarked Negrao put the hosts ahead with a routine header from a corner midway through the second half.
Oscar had another long-range effort palmed away, and Elkeson was denied by defender Dave Bulthuis’s superb point-blank block as SIPG pressed for the equaliser.
Oh Seung-hoon saved brilliantly from Oscar as the clock ticked down but there was to be no repeat of last week’s late goal against Kawasaki for Vitor Pereira’s men.