Villas-Boas blames lack of creativity for Shanghai loss

Shanghai SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas believes his charges failed to create enough scoring chances in their AFC Champions League semi-final loss to Urawa Red Diamonds on Wednesday.

The Reds would edge the Chinese outfit 2-1 on aggregate following the narrow 1-0 scoreline in the second leg in Saitama. Shanghai fired six shots on target but few were clear cut chances in front of goal.

“We had a lot of the ball but couldn’t create a lot of chances,” said the former Chelsea coach in the post-match press conference.

“We paid for one single mistake we made in the first half at the corner, that was the goal that put Urawa through.

“Once they scored they gave us the ball and sat back. We couldn’t create chances to get in behind their defence, who played well.

“As time went on in the second half we ended up playing more long balls and just couldn’t create anything. Their strategy worked and ours didn’t.”

The loss has brought Villas-Boas’ tenure at Shanghai into question, though he indicated he is happy at the ever-improving club and was proud of his players effors in the AFC Champions League.

“It’s good that we improved, of course, and we are making the right steps going forward, but we would have preferred to play in the final – it was our dream to do so – and so we are very disappointed,” continued the Portugal native.

“My players did everything, so I congratulate them for their effort and we still have the Chinese FA Cup final to look forward to. Our dreams are still alive for a trophy this season, but unfortunately we have missed out on the big one this year.”