Learning curve: Sven-Goran Eriksson laments Shanghai SIPG ‘mental collapse’ in crushing AFC Champions League defeat
The Chinese Super League side crashed out in the quarter-finals after losing 5-0 to South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the second leg
Sven-Goran Eriksson said Shanghai SIPG “collapsed mentally” in their 5-0 thrashing by Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, but backed his team to redouble their efforts to return to the AFC Champions League next year.
SIPG shipped five second half goals in their quarter-final second leg in Jeonju late on Tuesday to bring their promising debut campaign to a sudden halt.
It leaves SIPG facing a scramble to return to the Asian competition next year as they currently lie fourth in the Chinese Super League and out of the Champions League qualifying spots.
“We knew that Jeonbuk were strong in attack, but we didn’t defend the way we wanted to,” said ex-England boss Eriksson.
Watch: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors vs Shanghai SIPG
“If we had scored first then the whole atmosphere of the game would have changed.
“Through this kind of experience, the players will learn and will refocus their efforts on appearing in the competition again.”
Leonardo and Lee Dong-Gook both scored twice for the hosts along with Shi Ke’s own goal, while SIPG also had Lu Wenjun sent off for a dangerous challenge.
“After the red card in the second half, we collapsed mentally,” Eriksson said.
“Of course, we had already conceded, but after the dismissal we did not play the way we wanted to play.”