A star-studded Shanghai SIPG have come from behind on three separate occasions to snatch a thrilling 3-3 draw against Sydney FC on a memorable night at Jubilee Stadium.
After the SCG debacle at the weekend, it was fantastic for player and spectator alike to experience an Asian Champions League match in a boutique stadium with a bowling green for a pitch.
Good aesthetics like tonight make you question why Sydney FC (or any A-League team) would ever want to play games in an oval stadium and a cricket pitch.
Last week Kevin Muscat implored the football community to show self-respect in order to gain the respect of the wider sporting community. During the week FTBL reported on David Koch’s outrageous comment when he said that the AFL is “the only western sport in the world to play a game in China.”
While the crowd in Kogarah tonight was very decent by our standards, there is still a clear disconnect and misunderstanding within the Australian football community when it cannot turn out to watch the likes of Oscar, Hulk, Elkeson and Akhmedov.
Take Oscar for example, who left Chelsea in the peak of a glittering European and international career to come play in the Chinese Super League and ACL for Shanghai SIPG, for a reported 38 million Australian dollars per season.
Why Sydney members and neutral football fans that turn up to a Saturday fixture against the Mariners, but won’t show up on a weeknight to watch Oscar, is beyond me. To be fair, this is not just true of Sydney fans but Melbourne Victory too.