Kick-Off: 11:35 UK Time, Sunday 26th November
Shanghai SIPG’s way to the final:
Third Round: 2-0 over Shijiazhuang Ever Bright (A)
Fourth Round: 15-14 on penalties over Suzhou Dongwu (A)
Fifth Round: 4-3 on aggregate over Tianjin Quanjian
Semi Final: 6-2 on aggregate over Guangzhou Evergrande
Shanghai Shenhua’s way to the final:
Third Round: 3-0 over Yunnan Lijang (A)
Fourth Round: 1-0 over Beijing Guoan (H)
Fifth Round: 3-1 on aggregate over Shandong Luneng
Semi Final: 2-0 on aggregate over Shanghai Shenxin
Result in the first match: Shanghai Shenhua 1 – 0 Shanghai SIPG
The first leg of the Cup Final was decided after 38 minutes when a Shenhua cross caught the SIPG defence napping and Obafemi Martins popped up inside the box to put the ball in the back of the net, a proper poacher’s goal from the Nigerian.
In the second half, both teams had plenty of chances but neither were able to find the back of the net, which means Shenhua has a slight advantage on Sunday.
Shenhua have now not conceded a single goal in any of their last four FA Cup games, an impressive feat. In total over their last ten games they have only conceded twice in two games, against Tianjin TEDA and Henan Jianye, both ending in 2-1 losses. So, if SIPG can score twice, it looks like they could well be on their way to win the match
The defensive work will again be very important as SIPG will undoubtedly throw everything and the kitchen sink at them. But SIPG are not in great form, with the defeat last time out, they have now lost four out of their last five matches. But we all know SIPG have plenty of attacking power in the likes of Hulk, Oscar and China’s own Wu Lei and I don’t really see them not scoring over two legs against Shenhua. This match could very well go all the way to penalties at the Shanghai Stadium, it would not be very surprising.
So the final day of the Chinese season is upon us and we will soon know who can lift the trophy. But the outcome will also have outcomes for others. If SIPG come back and win this, that means that Hebei China Fortune will get the final Champions League spot next year, but if Shenhua win, they will take that spot and have something great to end a poor season.