Football: Hulk scores, then gets injured in incredible China debut

Shanghai SIPG's Hulk being carried off the pitch on a stretcher after an injury during the 16th round football match in Shanghai.
Shanghai SIPG's Hulk being carried off the pitch on a stretcher after an injury during the 16th round football match in Shanghai. PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (AFP) - Record Asian signing Hulk scored on his Chinese Super League football debut but was carried off injured minutes later, as Shanghai SIPG smashed Henan Jianye 5-0 at the weekend.

The muscle-bound Brazilian forward, who moved to Shanghai from Zenit St Petersburg for an eye-watering €55 million (S$82 million) last month, bundled home a low cross from Chinese international Wu Lei after nine minutes.

However, his joy was short-lived as he was stretchered off in considerable pain 10 minutes later, following a meaty challenge from Henan midfielder Feng Zhuoyi on the edge of the box.

The 29-year-old went down clutching his knee and was substituted soon afterwards by Shanghai's Swedish manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England coach.

"I'm really happy as it's my first game and it was a great start to get my first goal," Hulk told local media.

"I'm grateful to the fans for their support, and I'm going to the hospital now for a check-up, I hope I can play in the next game."

His absence had little effect on the outcome, however, with Hulk's countryman Elkeson adding a second goal before half time before Wu, Lu Wenjian and Ivorian winger Jean Evrard Kouassi completed the rout in the second half against a side already reduced to 10 men.

SIPG officials gave no immediate details on the Hulk's injury or if the player will be fit in time for their clash with bitter rivals Shanghai Shenhua next weekend.

Meanwhile, second-placed Jiangsu Suning went down 1-2 at Shandong Luneng, in a bad-tempered match which saw ex-Chelsea forward Ramires restrained by team-mates after receiving a red card for remonstrating with the referee following the final whistle.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's Guangzhou Evergrande went 10 points clear at the top of the 16-team league after beating Chongqing Lifan 4-1 at home in front of 45,000 people on Sunday.