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Eriksson laments 'mental collapse'

14 September 2016, 16:05

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 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."

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.

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