Yan Junling (1st L), goalie of China, saves during the match between China and the Czech Republic at the 2018 China Cup International Football Championship in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, March 26, 2018. (Xinhua/Cao Can)
In a passionate press conference, China's national football team coach Marcello Lippi highlighted the differences between China and their opponents after his side's 4-1 defeat to the Czech Republic in the China Cup International Football Championship in Nanning on Monday.
It's been a tough weekend for the Chinese national football team. Lippi's men have now conceded 10 goals in their last two games after they shipped six goals to Wales on Thursday night. Lippi was quick to point out the gulf between the two 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 coach said.
Lippi's side scored in the 5th minute through Fan Xiaodong and went into halftime a goal ahead.
However the Czech Republic 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 minute to put a final gloss on the scoreline.
The strength of the Czech forward Micheal Krmencik made all the difference as he was instrumental coming off the bench. The Czech Republic managed to amass 22 shots on goal as the Chinese defenders found it difficult to deal with the offensive assault.
Czech coach Karel Jarolim lauded his side's performance but commended the Chinese side 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 Chinese team, but asks for patience and for the Chinese football public 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 said.