Kick-off: 12:35 UK Time
Result after the first match:
Shanghai Shenhua 1 – 0 Shanghai Shenxin
Shanghai Shenxin’s way to the semi-final:
Second Round: 2-1 over Nantong Zhiyun (A)
Third Round: 5-3 over Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng (H)
Fourth Round: 6-5 on penalties Hangzhou Greentown (A)
Fifth Round: 4-3 on aggregate over Jiangsu Suning
Shanghai Shenhua’s way to the semi-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
The first match was decided by a single goal scored by midfield stalwart Kim Kee-hee. The versatile defender/midfielder found himself in tons of space inside the Shenxin box and could easily slot home the winning goal. That was just about the only mistake the Shenxin defence made that game, and it cost them dearly. If they want to keep this fairytale alive they need to do just that little bit better this time around.
Shanghai Shenxin are still only a mid-table side in League One and despite having Brazilian star strikers Cleiton Silva (15 goals in the league) and Biro Brito (10) they have struggled. If the two decide to come alive again, and the defence can have another game of their life, then a comeback is not totally out of the question.
Since the last time these two teams met Shanghai Shenhua have changed managers as Gus Poyet had to vacate his position at the Hongkou Stadium. Shenhua have struggled all season and the win against Shenxin is one of only two in the last 10 games, the other being against Guangzhou R&F last weekend. The big brother in this match seem to have gotten Carlos Tevez back, at least for now, and he might be a man they choose to play in this match. If he bothers to turn up to this game then he can cause the Shenxin defence all kinds of trouble.
With neither team in great form (Shenhua has 1-2-3 and Shenxin 1-2-2 from their last five) this could be a game where both teams play with the pressure off and just go out there to entertain. And while Shenhua have a lead to protect, that lead is very slim and we saw in the last game that Shenxin can threaten on counter-attacks if they want to.
So expect an open game but for the neutral viewer, you better hope Shenhua don’t score first because then it will be a long way back for Shenxin.
The other Semi Final will be played tomorrow between Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou Evergrande.