Thaer Krouma (R) of Syria celebrates his goal in a soccer friendly against China in Chengdu, China on Sept. 12, 2023. (Xinhua/Jiang Hongjing)
Syria upset host China 1-0 in a soccer friendly in Chengdu on Tuesday night.
CHENGDU, China, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese men's football team faced another embarrassing defeat as they lost to Syria 1-0 in an international friendly here on Tuesday.
"It was a frustrating result for us. We asked players to react after the draw against Malaysia in terms of energy level, but unfortunately we couldn't win the match," said China head coach Aleksandar Jankovic.
Following a disappointing 1-1 draw against Malaysia last Saturday, the Chinese team tried to control the first half with 59 percent of ball possession against low-defence Syria, but couldn't create any goalscoring opportunity.
The Syrian side found the back of the net first by Yasin Alsamya in the 52nd minute, but the goal was disallowed by VAR due to an offside in the build-up. Seven minutes later, Thaer Krouma unleashed a powerful right-footed shot from distance to put the away team in front.
China's goalkeeper Yan Junling (L) failed to save a long shot by Thaer Krouma of Syria in a soccer friendly in Chengdu, China on Sept. 12, 2023. (Xinhua/Jiang Hongjing)
Trailing with 1-0 behind, China made several goal attempts as Wu Lei was the closest to scoring in the stoppage time, but his close-range header was parried by Syrian goalkeeper.
China had a total of 17 shots with seven on target, while Syria only had one shot on target to score the winning goal.
"It's easy for me to talk about players on the field that they were not good enough, but I don't like to do that. Every game is different, we can still collect important information from the loss. We will play against a low-defence team in the World Cup qualifiers and Asian Cup, the important thing is how to learn and manage," Jankovic noted.
China will play two friendly games against Vietnam and Uzbekistan in October. ■