Could Shanghai SIPG do the unthinkable and miss out on ACL 2019 Round of 16?

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Since their AFC Champions League debut in 2017, Shanghai SIPG have always been regarded as genuine contenders for the title.

Boasting famous names that previously graced big European clubs like Hulk and Oscar, the Chinese Super League giants have reached the knockout round in their three previous ACL campaigns.

Having finally been crowned CSL champions for the first time last season as they ended Guangzhou Evergrande’s seven-year stranglehold on the title, much was expected from SIPG on both the domestic and continental fronts in 2019.

But, with one round left to go in the AFC Champions League group stage, there is a distinct possibility that they could miss out on the last 16.

As things stand, Vitor Pereira’s charges are second in Group H but only a point above Kawasaki Frontale.

Failure to beat Ulsan Hyundai at home on Tuesday, coupled with a Kawasaki victory over already-eliminated Sydney FC could just the unthinkable happen.

And, would it be a real disaster if SIPG fail to make it out of the group stage?

FOX Sports Asia football editor Gabriel Tan and pundit Shebby Singh discuss the possible ramifications.

Would group-stage exit be a disaster for Shanghai SIPG?