China would have to do their best if they want to score three points against Vietnam at the World Cup qualifier match Tuesday, coach Li Xiaopeng said.
“I respect my opponent, especially after seeing how the Vietnamese team have performed. They have always played games with high spirits from beginning to end. I also saw that the Vietnamese team are well-organized and able to maintain their formation well,” Li said in a press meet Monday.
For the first time, Vietnam have entered the final qualifying round for World Cup, but have scored no point in Group B. In the previous match with China at the UAE, Vietnam lost 2-3.
“I told my players to do their best if they hope to win against Vietnam tomorrow,” Li said.
Throughout their five games in Group B in the final qualification round, China managed to win only five points, meaning they will not be able to participate in the World Cup finals. The disappointing result meant former coach Li Tie had to leave and be replaced by Li Xiaopeng.
Under Xiaopeng, China lost 0-2 to Japan on their January 27 match, though the coach said China would not go easy on their opponents for their remaining matches, including Vietnam.
“My players have trained diligently and prepared their best for their match with Vietnam. We hope we could do our best and win the best result to showcase our fans back home in time for the New Year.”
The Vietnam and China clash will be held in Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium at 7 p.m. Tuesday (local time), the first day of the Lunar New Year. It will be reported live on VnExpress International.
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