Shandong Luneng suffer 7-2 blow at Champions League
But against the run of play Shandong took the lead after 16 minutes when Li Xiaopeng, in a seemingly innocuous position on the right sideline, 30 yards from goal, spotted Mabrouk Zaid edging into his box in anticipation of the cross and swerved the ball into the net at the Al Ittihad keeperĄ¯s left hand post.
The lead, whether achieved with luck or otherwise, lasted just three minutes as defender Osama Al Harbi was given all the time and space he needed by an AWOL Shandong defence to head home a corner kick that was swung in from the left by Al IttihadĄ¯s Brazilian forward Tcheco.
Al Ittihad thought they had doubled their lead in the 21st minute when the out-of-sorts Job showed glimpses of why the Jeddah side took rescued him from the Middlesbrough reserves with a fine turn and shot the Yang Cheng did well to stop.
Four minutes later, Al IttihadĄ¯s other big-name signing, former Monaco and Inter Milan striker Mohammed Kallon bundled the ball into the net after 2004 AFC Champions League MVP Redha Tukar had headed a deep cross from the left back across the face of the goal.
However, the Sierra Leone born 25-year-old had clearly used his hand and picked up a yellow card for his trouble but unperturbed by the set back, the home side continued to press forward and were rewarded ten minutes before the break and Kallon had, appropriately, a hand in the goal.
Facing his own goal Shandong defender Zhou Haibin attempted to deal with
KallonĄ¯s left wing cross but his awkward back header looped out of the penalty
area and into the path of Tcheco, who dispatched the ball into the Shandong net
with a fine swerving shot for the former Santos starsĄ¯ first goal of the 2005
AFC Champions League.