One down two to go

The picture was taken from Sina Sports of China post match 
It was not to be for China today as they lost 3-0 to a much fancied Iran side. The country that came into the tournament with no hope has left with their heads held that bit higher. In truth, Lippi's men did not do anything spectacular but they avoided the embarrassment some were worry of pre Asian Cup. 

Much as expected against a stronger side

It was not to be for China today as Iran run out winners, one thing that will disappoint the fans am sure will be the defence. This is something Lippi looked to have got a bit of a grip of after heavy defeats to Wales and Uruguay to name bit two. In what looks to be the Italian's last game in charge China went back to the old ways of not defending.

It could have been so different also as Wu Lei failed to score from a few yards out. The striker who picked up an injury in the first game as not looked fully fit the whole tournament. What could have been had the CSL top scorer been fit and scored early we will never know.

In the end, an early goal might not have made a difference as China very well would have folded in on themselves anyway. This team does not look like they know how to help themselves and that was the case less than 20 minutes into the quarter-final again. We saw this when Feng Xiaoting spent too long on the ball and allowed the Iran striker Taremi to nip and make it 1-0. Feng the Guangzhou Evergrande defender was then substituted ten minutes later in a tactical change. 

The change made no difference however as a few minutes later it was 2-0 Iran. You know what you guessed it this was due to another mistake from China as first Shi Ke let a long ball forward go over his head and then Liu Yiming looked like he couldn't defend leaving Azmoun an easy task to put his side two up.

The side did then hold out till injury time but then another error at the back led to Ansarifard scoring right at the death to make the score look as spectacular as it deserved. 

The End for Lippi

It will now be interesting to see what happens with China, the average age of the side at the tournament was 28.74 years-old. They also had a captain who at 38-years-old was the oldest player in Zheng Zhi. 

In total, they had eight players over 30 and what this means is that to build for the future they need to find the new generation. I expect Lippi to announce his retirement from football and exit from China in the next few days. So the new boss coming in will have to assemble a new side almost from the beginning, it is sure to be a challenge. 

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