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Génésio: Lack of cutting edge cost Beijing FC AFC Champions League exit

Doha: A lack of efficiency at both ends was to blame for Beijing FC’s 2020 AFC Champions League exit against Ulsan Hyundai FC, according to head coach Bruno Génésio.

Appearing in the quarter-finals for the first time, and riding a club record seven game unbeaten in the competition, the Chinese side fell to a 2-0 defeat to the K League outfit, with both goals scored before half-time by Brazilian striker Júnior Negrão.

On a statistical level, Beijing were well and truly in the game. They had more than 60 percent of possession and 22 shots at goal to Ulsan’s seven, but Génésio was left to reflect on their inability to make it count in the most important column on the stats sheet – goals.

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“The team played well, we got the possession and made a lot of shots, created our chances but could not take them,” said the former Olympique Lyonnais boss.

“We missed the last touch a bit. The factor that decided the match was efficiency inside the box, we committed a couple of mistakes and they punished us, while we created a lot of chances but did not take them at the other end."

Quarter-final: Ulsan Hyundai FC 2-0 Beijing FC

“Everyone knows that we need more experience in this competition, and maybe that is something we lacked today.

"This is our first time here, we gained valuable experience especially, and hopefully that will help us when we come here in the future.”

One of the game’s turning points was the decision to award Ulsan a 21st-minute penalty. At first, Beijing’s Kim Min-jae escaped punishment for blocking a Júnior volley with his hand, but the Video Assistant Referee intervened to ensure the correct decision was made.

Despite the decision going against his team, Génésio had no complaints.

“VAR said it is a penalty and I respect the decision of the referee,” he declared. “I do not question refereeing decisions after the match. I believe the presence of VAR today was beneficial for both teams.”

While Júnior was the source of Beijing’s problems at one end, their struggles in front of goal rested on the shoulders of several.

A disciplined Ulsan afforded Beijing’s talented midfielders and forwards few clear-cut chances, forcing them into 11 efforts at goal from outside the box, with few of them testing goalkeeper Jo So-huk.

While four goals from striker A Lan had aided Beijing’s cause throughout the tournament, they may have found more joy against Ulsan had they been able to call upon Cédric Bakambu – the Chinese Super League top scorer - who missed the centralised tournament in Doha after linking up with the DR Congo national team in November.

Génésio conceded the French-born forward would have been a welcome addition to the squad, but he refused to take anything away from the players who took them to the last eight.

"Of course, Cedric Bakambu is our best striker in the Chinese Super League,” said Génésio. “Maybe he could have made a difference today, but I don’t want to talk about that because I respect the players who are here.

“When we won all the previous games, we did not talk about Bakambu, and now despite losing, I am proud of my players who worked hard and gave their best.”

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