December 29, 2018 / 9:03 AM / 6 months ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-China at the Asian Cup

    Dec 29 (Reuters) - Factbox on the China team ahead of the
Asian Cup, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates from
Jan 5 to Feb 1:
    
    FIFA world ranking: 76
    Ranking in Asia: 7
    Previous Asian Cups: 11
    Best performance: Runners-up (1984, 2004)
    2015: Quarter-finals
    
    Nickname: Team Dragon
    Coach: Marcello Lippi
    Regular captain: Zheng Zhi
    Player to watch: Wu Lei 
    
    Recent form:  
    Sept 7     Qatar   1-0 China              Doha
    Sept 10     Bahrain 0-0 China              Riffa
    Oct 13     China   0-0 India              Suzhou
    Oct 16     China   2-0 Syria              Nanjing
    Nov 20     China   1-1 Palestine          Haikou
    Dec 24    Iraq    2-1 China              Doha
    
    Fixtures: 
    Group C
    Jan 7    China v Kyrgyzstan        Al Ain
    Jan 11   Philippines v China       Abu Dhabi
    Jan 16   South Korea v China       Abu Dhabi
    
    When Marcello Lippi took charge of China's troubled national
team a little over two years ago, hopes were high the World
Cup-winning Italian could kick-start a long-overdue return to
the upper tier of Asian football.
    But, as the septuagenarian's tenure draws to a close at
January's Asian Cup finals in the United Arab Emirates, the
question is whether Lippi has made much of a difference at all.
    While the former Juventus coach oversaw an upturn in
fortunes in the early days of his reign, China go into the
tournament in the midst of an indifferent run of form.
           

 (Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by
Sudipto Ganguly)
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