Seoul - 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,
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,
according to the Asian Football Confederation website.
"If we had scored first then the whole atmosphere of
the game would have changed."
Also read: Scolari, Eriksson take rivalry into China league showdown
But he added: "Through this kind of experience, the
players will learn and will refocus their efforts on appearing in the
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
"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."
Title-holders Guangzhou Evergrande departed at the group
stage and Shandong Luneng, 3-1 down to FC Seoul after the first leg, will fight
to maintain Chinese interest in the competition later on Wednesday.For
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