Wigan Athletic beat Chinese Super League Champions Shanghai SIPG in Dubai

Darron Gibson in action in Dubai
Darron Gibson in action in Dubai

Wigan Athletic defeated Chinese Super League Champions Shanghai SIPG 4-3 in their mid-season friendly at the Jebel Ali Sports Complex, Dubai today.

Goals from Joe Garner, Gary Roberts, Anthony Pilkington and Josh Windass earned the victory for Paul Cook’s side.

Vitor Pereira’s men scored three times through their Brazilian trio of former Porto and Zenit Saint Petersburg striker Hulk, ex-Chelsea forward Oscar and Elkeson, who has scored 44 times in 92 matches for Shanghai.

Latics started the match with Christian Walton in goal, Nathan Byrne, Chey Dunkley, Cedric Kipre and Antonee Robinson as a back four, Darron Gibson and Lee Evans as holding midfielders, with Roberts, Gavin Massey and Nick Powell supporting Garner.

Wang Shenchao shot over early for Shanghai before they took the lead against the run of play through Hulk, as he fired home from 25 yards.

Latics won a penalty five minutes later as Roberts was brought down in the area when challenging for a header and Garner slotted home.

It took just another couple of minutes for Latics to get in front as Garner flicked on a lovely Powell pass into the path of Roberts, who chipped the ball over Yan Junling in the Shanghai goal.

Walton denied Fu Huan at his near post before Kipre saw an effort deflected over following a set-piece as both sides searched for the game’s fourth goal.

Hull fired a free-kick wide on the stroke of half-time to bring the first-half to a close, with Latics introducing Owen Evans in place of Walton at half-time.

The first action of the second-half was in Latics’ half as Odil Akhmedov shot wide before the game was levelled on 52 minutes as Elkeson found space in the area and scored.

Latics reacted with a strong response as Byrne did excellently on a solo run forwards before playing in Massey, who saw his shot deflected wide.

Evans then made a fine save from a Hulk free-kick before Latics got in front when substitute Kal Naismith beat his man on the left and cross for Pilkington to tap home.

The fourth came moments later, with Pilkington heavily involved again as he linked up with Windass, who finished strongly at the second attempt.

Latics’ young Welsh goalkeeper Evans denied Oscar with a fine save from a free-kick before the Brazil international got a late third for Shanghai, turning well in the area before finishing.

Cook's men now turn their attention to next weekend’s clash with Ipswich Town at the DW Stadium.

Wigan Athletic: Walton (O. Evans 45); Byrne, Dunkley (Morsy 62), Kipre (James 74), Robinson (Naismith 62); Gibson, L. Evans; Massey (Jacobs 62), Powell (Windass 55), Roberts (Pilkington 62), Garner.