Shanghai Shenhua issued an apology to their fans after the Chinese Super League giants failed to qualify for the AFC Champions League group stage.
Despite boasting Carlos Tevez and Obafemi Martins, Gus Poyet’s Shenhua were upstaged by Australian opponents Brisbane Roar 2-0 in a play-off on Wednesday.
Tevez completed his lucrative move to Shanghai in December, reportedly becoming the highest paid player in the world in the process, but the former Juventus, Manchester City and Manchester United forward was unable to prevent defeat as Brandon Borrello and Tommy Oar stunned the hosts at the Hongkou Stadium.
The result sparked widespread criticism in China, leading to an apologetic statement from Shenhua.
“We want to apologise to our fans who braved the freezing cold to support us because it was a shame what happened on the pitch,” the CSL club said via Weibo.
“Every player have strived for the very best and we shared the same desire to win,
“However, football is cruel. When you keep wasting goal-scoring chances, the prospect of a victory is fast receding. We are gutted and regret the lost opportunities but the team will not give up.
“The spirit of Shenhua will not die away because of one game. The team will spare no effort for the new season of CSL and start all over again.”
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