You can’t buy success: Carlos Tevez’s Shanghai Shenhua debut ends with disastrous AFC Champions League exit
Chinese Super League side lose continental play-off 2-0 to Australia’s Brisbane Roar at home to miss out on place in the group stage
Carlos Tevez’s Shanghai Shenhua debut ended in a disastrous AFC Champions League exit at the hands of Australia’s Brisbane Roar on Wednesday as the Chinese Super League side suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to miss out in a place in the group stage of the continental competition.
Argentinian Tevez, who will reportedly earn €38 million (HK$315m) a season after signing from Boca Juniors last month, was largely ineffective throughout the contest at Hongkou Football Stadium as first half goals from Brandon Borrello and Tommy Oar secured the win for the visitors.
Tevez was often seen dropping too deep into midfield in an attempt to influence the contest, but the 33-year-old struggled against a well-organsied and disciplined Brisbane side who will now join Japan’s Kashima Antlers, Thailand’s Muangthong United and South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai in group E.
"I feel very, very sad with this result," Shenhua manager Gus Poyet said. "The players gave their all, but we conceded the first goal too suddenly and quickly. We had so many opportunities today. It is hard for me to understand it. It has never happened to me before. The players were fighting with all they have, so one or two goals would have made sense."
Ulsan edged out Hong Kong’s Kitchee on penalties in their play-off on Tuesday following a 1-1 draw after extra-time.
Watch: Shanghai Shenhua v Brisbane Roar highlights
“They caused us a lot of problems, but I think it was more down to how we played as a collective,” Brisbane’s Oar told Fox Sports. “There is no star individuals in our team, but we played well altogether, and I think that was the most important thing.”
Despite the hype surrounding Tevez’s arrival for a reported transfer fee of €10.5m, John Aloisi’s A-League side Brisbane enjoyed the ideal start as Borrello rifled home inside the first two minutes for the visitors before the midfielder struck the Shanghai post with a long range effort nine minutes later.
Carlos Tevez insists reports he will earn US$800,000 a week in China are untrue as he is unveiled by Shanghai
Shanghai settled into the game after the early shock and Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins went close after 22 minutes after Tevez has opted against shooting from free kick seemingly in a promising position.
Brisbane goalkeeper Jamie Young was then forced into a flying save to deny Cao Yunding, with Tevez screaming for the ball in the centre of the penalty area.
— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) February 8, 2017
But minutes later the visitors doubled their advantage as Oar rifled home from inside the area five minutes before half-time after taking advantage of some casual defending from Poyet’s Shanghai, who were greeted to a chorus of boos as the whistle sounded to end the first 45 minutes.
Shanghai and Tevez continued to struggle at the start of the second half with Brisbane defenders Luke DeVere and Jade North in outstanding form, and the visitors should have conceded a third a minute after the hour mark as Oar was denied by goalkeeper Li Shuai before Jamie Maclaren failed to convert the rebound.
But the home side should have reduced the deficit minutes later, Martins though was unable to convert from close range following good work from Cao, who was by far more effective going forward than Tevez, as Brisbane goalkeeper Young produced a superb point-blank save.
Tevez tried his luck with a free kick with 11 minutes remaining but was denied by Young as the Brisbane goalkeeper flew across his goal before Martins fired wide with the goal at his mercy with three minutes left.