Oct 13, 2016

    China's coach resigns, only 1 point so far


    CHINA'S hope to advance to the 2018 Fifa World Cup finals dimmed as they lost 2-0 to Uzbekistan on Tuesday night, collecting only one point from four matches and standing last in the six-team Group A.

    Coach Gao Hongbo, 50, announced his resignation at the post-match press conference.

    He retook the reins of the Chinese national team in February this year. He led them to beat Qatar 2-0 at home on March 29 to clinch the last ticket to the Asian Zone qualifying tournament last round, which comprises 12 teams.

    So far, China have lost 3-2 to South Korea and 2-0 to Uzbekistan on the road, and tied Iran 0-0 and lost 1-0 to Syria at home.

    Having been stunned by Syria on Oct 6, China knew that the match against Uzbekistan had become a do-or-die duel.

    But fans were disappointed again, not only at the result but also at the poor performance in the game.

    Gao made seven changes in his formation against Uzbekistan to fortify the defence but it did not work.

    China had only two shots in the whole game, compared with Uzbekistan's 19.

    Gao failed to mould an effective formation or playing style.

    Although there are still six matches remaining, the performances of the team have not given the fans any hope.

    "I will leave the national team because of poor health," said Gao, a big name in his professional life as a Chinese footballer.

    Gao started his coaching career in 1998.

    In April 2009, he became the head coach of the Chinese national team but was sacked in August 2011 and replaced by Jose Antonio Camacho from Spain.

    China will host Qatar in Kunming on Nov 15, the fifth game of the qualifiers.

    But, first, they must find a new head coach.