Didier Drogba failed to make his debut for Shanghai Shenhua as their 2013 AFC Champions League (ACL) hopes suffered a huge blow after a 5-3 penalty shootout defeat to Changchun Yatai in the Chinese FA Cup on Wednesday.
The Ivorian, who arrived to a huge crowd at Pudong International Airport on Saturday morning, travelled with the Shenhua squad to Changchun but wasn't included in the 18-man squad listing.
Drogba's presence would have been handy for Shenhua too, as the game ended 0-0 with Nicolas Anelka managing 80 minutes following illness earlier in the week.
It is understood, Drogba was left out as he isn't 100 per cent fit, having only arrived in China on the weekend.
The result sends Shenhua crashing out of the cup competition in the fourth round, with the winner of the tournament earning a ticket to the 2013 ACL.
The only other way the star-studded side can qualify for the 2013 ACL now is via a top three league placing, but the Shanghai outfit currently sits a lowly 12th and seems preoccupied with avoiding the drop.
Elsewhere, Frederic Kanoute netted a double, his first goals for his new club after joining from Sevilla, to help Beijing Guoan ease into the final eight with a 6-0 triumph over Qingdao Jonoon. Fellow new arrival Joffre Guerron also got on the scoresheet for the capital club.
Lucas Barrios also got off the mark with Guangzhou Evergrande, netting the equaliser in their come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Henan Construction.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who opened his account on debut in the Guangzhou derby, added another as Guangzhou R&F went down 4-3 to Liaoning Whowin.