ABU DHABI (Rahnuma): China head coach Marcello Lippi said Philippines are more like a Europe team in the 2019 Asian Cup as his opponents have many naturalized foreign-born players.
After coming back from behind to beat Kyrgyzstan 2-1 in the first group match, China will face Philippines to seek for sealing the knockout round berth in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
“I think they are more like a Europe team in this tournament, they have players who were born in Germany, Spain and Denmark with great talents physically. It will be a tough match for us, and 3 points is very important for us to qualify.” said Lippi.
In the last meeting between these two teams, China smashed Philippines 8-1 in a friendly match in Guangzhou, China, in 2017. However, the Philippines impressed in their Asian Cup debut despite losing 1-0 to South Korea.
“For tomorrow’s match the most important thing for us is to find the balance between defence and offence. We must not make the same mistakes when we were against Kyrgyzstan.” the 70-year-old said.
China’s caption Zheng Zhi is back from suspension and the 38-year-old can bring more balance to the midfield.
“We have to play a high intensity game throughout. If we can do that, we will get the three points from the Philippines.” said Zheng, the oldest player in this tournament.