Boasting names such as Hulk, Oscar, Elkeson and Akhmedov, Shanghai SIPG went into the clash as strong favourites to beat a Sydney FC side that hadn’t won an ACL match since 2016.

Yet it was Sydney’s own star-power that gave them the lead when Siem De Jong’s deflected effort wrong-footed the SIPG goalkeeper in the third minute.

The next 87 minutes were equally as thrilling, with the big names of both sides duelling it out. With just 10 minutes to go, Sydney took the lead for a third time through an Alex Brosque tap-in.

But Sydney fell agonisingly short in a must-win match when Josh Brillante criminally turned the ball over to Oscar in his own half, who swiftly played his compatriot Elkeson in with the Brazilian striker blasting into the roof of the net to the delight of the large contingent of Chinese fans in the stadium.

The loss is a bitter-blow for Sydney, who needed the three points at home to maintain any realistic chance of progressing from the group. The A-League side play two of their three remaining ACL matches away, where Australian sides have an atrocious record.