Aaron Mooy’s world-class strike in the Shanghai Derby on Wednesday has been hailed as the best in the Chinese Super League season, one in which the Australian midfielder has hit the ground running.
Just after the hour in the crunch game against Shanghai Shenhua, Mooy, who has been in excellent form so far in the three games this season, picked up the ball just inside the opposition half, advanced to 25 metres from goal and then unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner.
Shanghai Port, as they were renamed earlier this year from Shanghai SIPG, were unable to start their campaign with three straight wins however as Cristian Bassogog earned a 1-1 draw for Shenhua with a stoppage-time penalty.
“It was a fantastic goal and one that was worthy of winning any game,” Port boss Ivan Leko told reporters. “Mooy has been in good form so far this season but it is unfortunate that we were not able to win the game from a good position and take the three points.”
Sina Sports called the goal ‘World-class,’ adding that the shot was so powerful it caused Mooy to fall over and the angle was so perfect that it could not be saved. Shanghai Youth Daily hailed the strike as ‘the best goal of the season in what was a game that showed the quality in Chinese football’.
Mooy, who almost set up a spectacular second as he dribbled past two players and released Marko Arnautovic with a perfect pass only for the Austrian star to spurn his chance, was modest after the game. “It was good to score but the most important thing is the result,” he said.
The Socceroo paid tribute to the quality of the game between the two Shanghai clubs who have both started the season well.
“Both teams played very well today,” Mooy said. “They were well-organised and both teams had a number of opportunities. We also had the opportunity to extend our lead and it is frustrating that we did not manage to do that.”
“We have made a good start this season and it is a shame that we did not manage to make it three wins out of three. Now we will regroup and then look to win the next games.”
Mooy has impressed so far this season after leaving the English Premier League last August.
In last week’s 2-1 win over title rivals Beijing Guoan the 30 year-old created the opening goal against Beijing in the opening minute. Not only did the former Brighton and Hove Albion star, who was busy at both ends of the pitch, win possession but he then started a counter-attack that ended with a perfect cross for Ricardo Lopes to score from close range.
While hearing about Mooy’s early season form may be music to the ears of Graham Arnold, Brisbane Roar boss Warren Moon may feel a little different. Should the A-League team defeat Kaya FC-Iloilo of the Philippines on June 20 in the preliminary play-off in the AFC Champions League, they will go onto meet Shanghai three days later in a final eliminator with the winner moving into Group F along with Thai champions BG Pathum United, Asian champions Ulsan Horang-i of South Korea and Viettel of Vietnam.