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Football: Former Chinese champions Shanghai miss out on Champions League group stage

REUTERS: Former Chinese Super League winners Shanghai Port will not play in the group phase of the Asian Champions League this year after they lost 1-0 in a playoff with Kaya Iloilo from the Philippines in Bangkok on Wednesday.

Audie Menzi scored the only goal of the game with a 17th- minute header as the Filipino club advanced to the group stage of the competition for the first time.

Shanghai, who reached the semi-finals in 2017, sent an inexperienced squad to the playoff due to concerns regarding quarantine regulations for players on their eventual return to China.

Kaya Iloilo will advance to Group F of the competition, where they will meet defending champions Ulsan Hyundai from South Korea, Thailand's BG Pathum United and Viettel of Vietnam.

They kick off their campaign on Saturday against BG Pathum United, with matches being played in a centralised bio-secure hub in Bangkok due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The winners of the five groups in the eastern half of the competition will advance to the last 16 alongside the three runners-up with the best records.

Teams in west Asia completed their group phase commitments in Apri.

Matches in the round of 16 are scheduled to be played in September with the final slated for the end of November.

Source: Reuters

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