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Shanghai Shenhua's Gus Poyet 'sad' after Asian Champions League exit

Gus Poyet, head coach of Shanghai Shenhua, during the AFC Champions League 2017 playoff match against Brisbane Roar.
Gus Poyet suffered disappointment trying to qualify for the Asian Champions League.

Gus Poyet was left bewildered by his side's loss to Brisbane Roar on Wednesday night as Shanghai Shenhua, including new signing Carlos Tevez, crashed out of the Asian Champions League.

Poyet started big-money signing Tevez but the former Manchester City and Juventus man could do little to stop the Australians from running out 2-0 winners and booking a place in the tournament's group stages.

"I feel very, very sad with this result," 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."

Shenhua went behind inside the first two minutes when Brandon Borrello scored with a sweetly struck volley following Tommy Oar's perfect cross from the left and, with five minutes remaining in the half, the Australians doubled their lead when Oar netted from inside the penalty area.

With the Chinese Super League not due to start until next month, Shanghai were playing their first match of the season and Poyet's team looked out of sorts throughout the opening 45 minutes.

There was a marked improvement in the second half as Shenhua went in search of a way back into the game, with Tevez seeing his effort pushed onto the post by Brisbane goalkeeper Jamie Young.

Brisbane continued to frustrate the home side -- who were booed off at half-time -- and held on to ensure they go through to the group stages of the competition, where they will play Kashima Antlers of Japan, Thailand's Muangthong United and former champions Ulsan Hyundai from South Korea.

"Today both teams have played with their own style," Poyet said. "In the second half we took the risk of having one more player at the attacking third, but when the luck is not on your side, it becomes dangerous.

"Playing on this field and with the support of these fans, we can't complain. It's difficult for me to accept the result, but we have to. We have to try very hard for the forthcoming matches.

"Today I prioritised our attack, nothing else. The first goal we conceded was unexpected, and every player had a different reaction to it. When it was 2-0, you could see we had the chances to level the scoreline and even win, but we couldn't convert chances into goals."

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch

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