Obafemi Martins shines in China

Obafemi Martins scored from close range to earn Shanghai Shenhua a 1-0 win over local rivals Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese FA Cup final first leg match on Sunday.

The Nigerian put the ball in from four metres after Liu Ruofan’s cut-back in the 38th minute.

The result gives Shenhua a boost as they hope to end a difficult season with success in the country’s premier knockout competition.

The teams meet again at Shanghai Stadium with Shenhua, who finished 11th in the league this season, aiming to win the Chinese FA Cup for the first time since 1998.

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“The game went as we expected,’’ Rueters quoted Shenhua coach Wu Jingui as saying.

“SIPG were very aggressive and they had a lot of power in midfield and attack.

“We could only fight by running more, defending endlessly and having the spirit to give everything to achieve such a good result.”

The Chinese FA Cup is the last chance for SIPG’s Portuguese coach Andre Villas-Boas and his expensively-assembled team to secure a trophy this season.

The second leg is scheduled for Sunday November 26.

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