BUSAN, South Korea, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) — The Chinese men’s team head coach Li Tie said he was grateful to his players for the fighting spirit they demonstrated in their 1-0 loss to South Korea at the EAFF E-1 Football Championship on Sunday.
South Korea’s skipper Kim Minjae headed in the winner in the 13th minute as the hosts registered 13 shots with two on goal throughout the match, while China produced only two shots with none on goal.
Despite being outperformed, Chinese players showed a praiseworthy attitude at the match, according to Li.
“I expressed my gratitude to the players at the dressing room, I thanked them for fighting to last minute. All the players on the field tried their best,” he said.
“After a long season of Chinese Super League, they gave up the chance to stay together with their families and came here to fight for our country. My hat off to them,” he said.
Li admitted that his team lost to a better team.
“My players were poor in ball possession and South Korea scored on a set-piece. I think the scoreline reflects the gap between the two teams,” he said.
China will play its third and final tie of the tournament against Hong Kong, China on Wednesday, a match China will have to win, according to Li.
“We have to face the fact that China is inferior to both Japan and South Korea. As for our next match against Hong Kong, we have only one goal — try our best to win,” he said.