29 Th1 2022 | 14:01
The Chinese team started the 2022 World Cup third qualifying campaign with high hopes. However, after two-thirds of the way with the events in the national championship or on the coaching bench, Chinese football must admit that they have not been able to reach.
After the 0-2 loss to Japan on January 27, coach Li Xiaopeng almost admitted that the opportunity to go to Qatar at the end of the year with the Chinese team had ended. ” I have nothing to complain about my players, ” said the new China coach. ” They played hard against the top Asian team .”
The trip to Japan is the first official match of Mr. Xiaopeng after coach Li Tie resigned. One could not ask for more from the new captain of the Chinese team. Their loss to Japan was to be expected.
However, the way the away team was overwhelmed during the match still disappointed Chinese fans and experts. Coach Xiaopeng’s team did not have a shot on target in the whole match. They only had one shot that went wide of the Japanese goal.
With a possession rate of 37% and passing accuracy at 67%, the Chinese team could only endure the match against “Blue Samurai”. Dong Fangzhuo, a former Manchester United striker, assessed the passing accuracy of 67% of the Chinese team against Japan, showing the true level of football in the country.
” The Japanese team is on a different level than China, ” said the 37-year-old former striker. ” But it’s hard to believe they couldn’t pass the ball better, which is a fundamental element of modern football .”
If the Japanese players take advantage of the opportunity better, the Chinese team may have to receive a big defeat. ” We are satisfied with the 3 points, but not satisfied with the overall match ,” said captain Wataru Endo.
When the first half ended, the Chinese team did not have a shot or touch the ball in the home team’s penalty area. Former assistant to the Chinese team, Qiang Xie, commented that the level difference between the two teams is too large, and it can be seen as a “disgrace” to the country’s sports industry.
The last time the Chinese team beat Japan in an official match was 24 years ago. In March 1998, the team of billions of people overcame the opponent with a score of 2-0 in a friendly tournament. Since then, the two football fields have met 12 times, the Chinese team drew 5 and lost 7.
Chinese sports have reached out and competed fairly with Japan over the past decade. However, football is still a playground where China is completely inferior to its neighbour. The current value of the Chinese team is 8,475 million euros (transfermarkt’s valuation), of which Wu Lei is the most valuable star with 2.5 million euros.
The Japanese squad is valued at up to 44.9 million euros, of which Taku Minamino has 12 million euros. Takehiro Tomiyasu, Arsenal star, cost 25 million euros, did not appear in the match against China due to injury.
After the loss in the first leg, Wu Lei wrote on his personal page, roughly looking at the colors of the Japanese players’ jerseys at club level, one can see the big difference between the two football backgrounds. Wu Lei is the most famous player of Chinese football playing abroad.
Naturalized players can’t help the Chinese team much either. After the Guangzhou club faced financial difficulties, the future of Aloisio, Alan or Ai Kesen in the national team was questioned.
These naturalized stars are still committed to playing for the Chinese team during the remaining period of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. However, when they are no longer playing in the Chinese Super League (most of them return to Brazil to play), it is difficult to make these players give their best.
The way Luo Guofu criticized the Chinese Football Association (CFA) on his personal page for the incident he and the naturalized players met at the airport in the Netherlands shows this. Although the Brazilian-born striker later apologized to the CFA, it showed the complicated psychology of the naturalized players in the Chinese team at the moment.
The battle for face
Therefore, coach Xiaopeng has to solve difficult problems in the near future. The confrontation at My Dinh Stadium on February 1 is a great opportunity for the Chinese team to regain its face. So far in the third qualifying round of the 2022 Asian World Cup, the Vietnamese team has played the worst in Group B.
Coach Park Hang-seo’s teachers and students lost 7 matches and conceded 16 times. After the loss to Japan, coach Xiaopeng hopes that the Chinese players will play 200% of their strength against Vietnam. The 8th match of Group B takes place on the first day of the Lunar New Year and has a special meaning for two football backgrounds.
Former assistant Qiang Xie said that the Chinese team certainly did not want to disappoint fans on New Year’s Day. ” The pressure for coach Xiaopeng in the match against Vietnam is not easy ,” commented Mr. Xie. ” Vietnam is the weakest opponent in the group and another loss is unacceptable .”
In the first leg match between the two teams in October, the Chinese team had a hard 3-2 victory over the neighboring team. Sina commented that without Wu Lei’s genius shining moment at the end of the game, the Chinese team would have held a grudge against Vietnam.
Chinese media revealed that the atmosphere in the national team is quite gloomy at the moment. From dreaming of a ticket to the 2022 World Cup, now the Chinese team must fight for the honor and trust of the fans.