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Shenhua apologizes for failure

By Agence France-Presse in London | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-10 07:28

Shenhua apologizes for failure

File photo shows Argentine striker Carlos Tevez meeting with press in Shanghai on Jan 21, 2017. [Photo/IC]

China's high-spending Shanghai Greenland Shenhua FC, spearheaded by expensive new signing Carlos Tevez, has apologized to fans after being dumped out of Asia's top club competition by Australian side Brisbane Roar.

Shenhua, managed by Uruguayan Gus Poyet and which also has Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins in the lineup, was blanked 2-0 in chilly conditions in Shanghai in its Asian Champions League final qualifying round clash on Wednesday.

"For the shame of today's result, we offer a sincere apology to all those fans who braved the bitter cold to come to the stadium and support Shenhua," the club said in a statement on its official microblog.

Shenhua apologizes for failure

"The players all did their best, and we longed to win as much as you did, but sometimes soccer can just be this cruel."

Shanghai Shenhua finished fourth in the Chinese Super League last season, 16 points behind champion Guangzhou Evergrande.

Amid of flurry of high-profile transfers by Chinese clubs, Shenhua bought Tevez from Boca Juniors in December for a reported $89.76 million and made the 32-year-old the sport's highest paid player with a reported weekly salary of $753,000.

Tevez's arrival in Shanghai came on the heels of Brazilian midfielder Oscar joining local rivals Shanghai SIPG from Chelsea in a deal believed to be worth $65 million.

Graziano Pelle, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Jackson Martinez are all recent arrivals in China, while Shanghai SIPG manager Andre Villas-Boas is also on a lucrative contract since replacing former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Shenhua's fans vented their anger at the loss.

"It would be better to spend this huge money on stellar coaches than huge annual salaries for these players," said one fan in a post on Sina Weibo.

"The season hasn't even started yet and we're out of the Asian Champions League. The crowd is already losing hope."

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