China Likely To Field U23 Players In Crucial World Cup Qualifier, Says Maddaloni
China is set to face Uzbekistan here on August 31 in their cruicial World Cup qualifier, and Massimiliano Maddaloni, an assistant coach of the Chinese national team, says the country is likely to include some U23 players on the roster for that match.
In their previous eight qualifying games, China won one game, lost 4 and drew 3, and ranked last in the group with just six points. Uzbekistan is in third place on 12 points.
China still has an opportunity to enter the playoffs if they win the remaining two games.
Maddaloni said that it was a pity to concede a goal in the last moment against Syria in their last game, but added that China had not lose confidence.
The Chinese team will assemble in Wuhan on August 25 and begin to prepare for the game, with the roster set to be announced on August 23.
In the U23 Asian Cup qualifiers last week, China’s U22 team headed by Maddaloni, defeated Japan to top the group.
Maddaloni said some U22 players will have a chance for a call-up for the August 31 tie, but whether they can be fielded on pitch depends on the arrangement of head coach Marcello Lippi.
In addition, MeiFang, one of the main defenders of the national team, sustained an injury in Chinese Super League action and probably will rest for half a year, which means he would have to sit out this match.