Shanghai Shenhua will take on local rivals SIPG in the first of the two-leg final at Hongkou Football Stadium on Sunday.
Shanghai Shenhua have had a disappointing season despite the signing of former Manchester United and Manchester City attacker Carlos Tevez. The lack of stability for a team who started the year in the Champions League lead to the resignation of coach Gus Poyet in September and he was replaced by former club coach Wu Jingui.
The team eventually finished 11th in the 16-team standing, which have been their worst performance in the last six years. So a CFA Cup title is the last hope for Shenhua to win an automatic berth in next year’s AFC Champions League.
Meanwhile, SIPG have lost hope in the AFC Champions League and Chinese Super League titles this season. However, Andre Villas-Boas and his players managed in capturing the second spot in the domestic top-flight league and earned a direct ticket to AFC Champions League next year.
After Sunday’s first-leg CFA Cup final match, the two teams will meet at Shanghai Stadium, SIPG’s home ground, in a week’s time for the second leg.