China lost 3-0 to Iran in late January in the Asian Cup quarterfinal, conceding all three goals due to defensive errors. “When you face a strong team like Iran, you
have to avoid making the mistakes. I did not expect we lost the game in this way,” China coach Marcello Lippi said.
With the Olympic qualifying tournament and the 2022 World Cup quali
fying campaign around the corner, China faces an uphill battle with a limited squad.
Hou Sæter’s versatility has been praised by Guo’an head coach, Rog
er Schmidt, who has said the midfielder can play a number of positions across the pitch.
Naturalization has become increasingly popular in international football in recent
years, and has been used by Japan, the Philippines, and AFC Asian Cup holders Qatar.
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