Shanghai out of ACL second round after 2-0 defeat at Kashima

10:45, May 04, 2011      

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Shanghai Shenhua's hopes of reaching the knock-out stage of the the Asian Champions League (ACL) were smashed after they lost 2-0 to Japan's Kashima Antlers in a Group H match played in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Shenhua had to win the game to keep alive their chances of advancing, but Kashima's Shinzo Koroki struck on either side of halftime to hold the visitors at bay.

"Shanghai Shenhua are a very young team, with eight or nine players competing in the ACL for the first time," said Xi Zhikang, coach of Shenhua.

"We had a few chances, but our players were unable to score," he added.

Kashima stays atop Group H with nine points from five matches.

Two minutes past the half-hour, the hosts opened the scoring after Koroki, Kashima's key man in the eyes of Xi, scored on a free kick opportunity.

As the ball curled into the box from the left wing, Koroki, left completely unmarked by Shanghai, glanced in a header for his second goal of the tournament under the arms of goalkeeper Wang Dalei.

Shanghai played aggressively in the second half, and Duvier Riascos went close to leveling the score in the 55th minute and the 61th minute.

Koroki put Antlers in the clear in the 81st minute with his second on a miserable wet afternoon, sweeping home a deflection from a right corner.

Shanghai Shenhua became the first Chinese team to be eliminated in this season's competitions.

Source: Xinhua
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