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China makes brave comeback but falls short against South Korea

(Xinhua/chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-09-01 22:47 Comments

China makes brave comeback but falls short against South Korea

Chinese player Hao Junmin fights for the ball during a 2018 Russia World Cup qualifier between China and South Korea in Seoul, South Korea, on Sept 1, 2016.  [Photo/IC]

 SEOUL - China lost to South Korea 3-2 away in the final phase of Asian zone 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament here on Thursday.

South Korea took the lead in the 20th minute through Chinese defender Zheng Zhi's own goal and extended their advantage to three goals after Lee Chung-yong of Crystal Palace headed home in 62nd minute and Bundesliga player Koo Ja-cheol scored in the 66th minute with a close-range shot, which was deflected off the post into net.

Just as the match looked like a lop-sided flop for China, Gao Hongpo's side saged a spirited fight-back with Yu Hai's left-foot shot turning the scoresheet to 3-1. Hao Junmin then curled in a textbook freekick two minutes later.

"Giving us ten more minutes, we can surely score one more goal. I'm confident of a victory over South Korea on home soil," said Chinese team captain Feng Xiaoting.

Chinese head coach Gao Hongbo blamed the lack of experience for the defeat and gave credits to Chinese players' confidence as well.

"South Korea won the match thanks to their experience. To me, I'm satisfied with my players' skills and mentality," said Gao.

"South Korea can convert three goals out of four chances thanks to luck partly and experience partly. The two goals for us are not enough for we have another two good opportunities, but we failed to score more goals."

China will next play Iran at home on September 6.

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