Passionate Lippi calls for patience

Xinhua
China's national team coach Marcello Lippi highlighted the differences between China and its opponents following his side's 1-4 defeat to the Czech Republic.
Xinhua
Imaginechina

Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani scores the game’s only goal against Wales during the China Cup final in Nanning, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, yesterday. 

AT a passionate press conference, China’s national team coach Marcello Lippi highlighted the differences between China and its opponents following his side’s 1-4 defeat to the Czech Republic in the China Cup 3rd-place playoff in Nanning yesterday.

In the final later, Uruguay edged Wales 1-0 on striker Edinson Cavani’s 49th-minute goal.

It was a tough tournament for the national team; Lippi’s men having conceded 10 goals in the two games after shipping six goals to Wales on Thursday night. But Lippi was quick to point out the gulf between China and other top international sides.

“This is the reality. We have to admit that now this is the big difference between the Chinese football level and the teams that we met in these two matches. There are many differences. I want to say that physically they are stronger than us and technically and athletically and in terms of quality they are better than us,” the Italian said.

Lippi’s side scored in the 5th minute through Fan Xiaodong against the Czechs, taking that lead into the break.

However, the Czechs came out firing, scoring three goals between the 58th and 62nd minutes to take the tie away from China. Pavel Kaderabek scored the fourth goal in the 78th to put a final gloss on the scoreline.

The strength of Czech forward Michael Krmencik made all the difference as he was instrumental after coming off the bench. The Czechs managed to amass 22 shots on goal and the Chinese defenders found it difficult to deal with the offensive assault.

Czech Republic coach Karel Jarolim lauded his side’s performance but commended the host for its strong showing in the first half.

“China played really well at the beginning and attacked us really high. We made some changes and I think we were really effective and finally we scored four goals. I think the second half was better from our side,” Jarolim said.

Lippi says there is still hope for his team, but asks for patience and for Chinese fans to put the two results into perspective.

“Me and my staff are working a lot to follow all the young players. We put in our best efforts to follow the young Chinese players even in the second division. So be patient in the future about this big movement surrounding football in China. It’s going to take time. In the future we will have a better national team,” Lippi promised.

In the final later, a frantic first half somehow ended goalless despite several chances at both ends, with Wales lucky not to be trailing at the break after Barcelona forward Luis Suarez twice hit the post.

The South Americans moved up a gear in the second half, and Cavani gave them a deserved lead with a tap-in.

Wales could not find an equalizer despite substitute Lee Evans coming close.

The Welshmen competed valiantly but the tempo deteriorated in the closing stages as new manager Ryan Giggs’ second match in charge ended in defeat.

The former captain had made the perfect start to his tenure with Thursday’s 6-0 hammering of China, in which Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick to become Wales’ leading goalscorer.

But if China seemed like simple cannon fodder, former World Cup and Copa America champions Uruguay was a different proposition altogether and was well worth its victory.

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