Shanghai: Fernando Torres scored with his first touch as Atletico Madrid cruised to a 3-0 exhibition match victory over Sven-Goran Eriksson's Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) in China on Tuesday.
Fernando Torres. Pic/AFP
The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker came on at half-time and scored just seconds after the restart with a neat header from Yannick Carrasco's looping cross. In an open and attacking game played in very humid conditions at Shanghai Stadium, Atletico had opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Antoine Griezmann latched onto a long forward pass to slot the ball past SIPG keeper Sun Le.
Moments before conceding, SIPG playmaker Dario Conca -- the third highest paid player in the world when he signed for Guangzhou Evergrande in 2011 -- could have scored. But the Argentine's low drive did not trouble Atletico keeper Jan Oblak. SIPG, currently leading the 16-team Chinese Super League, were without four first team regulars currently on international duty with China at the East Asia Cup in Wuhan.
But they did not look out of place against their more illustrious opponents. However, in the 24th minute Atletico extended their lead when the ball fell to Griezmann on the edge of the box. The Frenchman scored his second of the night when his tame shot evaded SIPG keeper Sun to make it 2-0 to the Spanish giants. Atletico's Lucas Hernandez should have put his side further ahead in the 28th minute when the French defender crashed a header off the bar from close range.
Torres scored the final goal of the match just after half-time, after which the pace of the game dropped considerably. SIPG's Ivorian forward Jean Evrard Kouassi troubled Atletico on the flanks in the second half with some dangerous balls into the box, but Shanghai lacked the firepower to breach the net of the 2014 Spanish League champions.
Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group owns 20 per cent of Atletico Madrid and helped arrange its visit to China. Atletico beat Japanese club Sagan Tosu 4-1 on penalties on Saturday in the first game of their two-match Asian tour.