Lippi keeps his word to give opportunities to young players

里皮坚持要给年轻球员机会

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China striker Wei Shihao (second from right) celebrates scoring the opening goal with his teammates against South Korea at the East Asian Cup soccer tournament on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: IC

中国前锋魏世豪(右二)周六在日本东京举行的东亚杯足球赛上庆祝与队友对阵韩国进球。

Fans and media hailed a young Chinese national soccer team after their hard-earned 2-2 draw with arch-rivals South Korea in the opening match at the East Asian Cup soccer tournament on Saturday.

在上周六举行的东亚杯足球锦标赛首场比赛中,中国国家足球队与劲敌韩国队在首场比赛中以2比2战平,赛后球迷和媒体对他们表示热烈欢迎。

China coach Marcello Lippi had said that one of the main tasks at the regional tournament was to give more opportunities to young players, and the Italian kept his word by starting all six under-23 players in the 25-man squad in Tokyo. The young ­players did not let him down as they kept their recent momentum against their Asian neighbors.

中国主教练里皮曾经表示,本次比赛的主要任务之一就是给年轻球员提供更多的机会,意大利人坚持说,他们在东京25人阵容中挑选了6名23岁以下的球员。年轻球员没让他失望,因为他们保持最近的动力反对他们的亚洲邻国。

Shanghai SIPG striker Wei Shihao, 22, scored after just nine minutes in his debut for the senior national team.

22岁的上海SIPG前锋魏世昊在为国家队出战仅仅9分钟之后就取得了进球。

But the Chinese kept the lead for only three minutes before the Taeguk Warriors pulled even. And China were already one goal down in the 19th minute.

但是中国队在太鼓勇士队连扳三分钟之前保持领先。而中国在第19分钟已经是一个进球了。

China increased pressure on the offense in the second half and finally got the equalizer through Beijing Guoan striker Yu Dabao in the 76th minute.

下半场中国队加大了进攻的压力,最终通过北京国安队前锋余大宝在第76分钟扳平了比分。

The Nanfang Daily was thrilled that all young players in the squad got pitch time. "More important than the result is that Lippi started all the young ­players in the squad, which shows he didn't lie about giving a chance to young players," the paper wrote. "The young ones showed their vitality and ability."

《南方日报》激动地说,所有的年轻球员都有时间。“比结果更重要的是,里皮开始所有的年轻­球员阵容,显示他没有撒谎给年轻球员机会,”文章写道。“年轻人展现了他们的活力和能力。”

The Yangtze Evening Post praised Lippi's coaching ability and said it was his substitutions that brought the draw. Despite taking an early lead, "China were overwhelmed by the Koreans most of the time in the first half." Lippi replaced Wei with midfielder Li Xuepeng after halftime and brought on striker Xiao Zhi and midfielder Yin Hongbao later, which saw China improve their performance and finally pull even. "This showed Lippi's magic again," the paper wrote. "He has turned the tables for ­China many times both at the World Cup qualifiers and the East Asian Cup."

扬子晚报赞扬了里皮的执教能力,并说是他的替补带来了平局。尽管早早领先,“上半年大部分时间中国都被韩国人压倒了”。半场结束后,里皮用中场李雪鹏换下魏,后来带领前锋小志和后腰尹宏宝,看到中国队的表现甚至拉平。 “这再次显示了里皮的魔力,”报纸写道。 “他已经在世界杯预选赛和东亚杯上多次转战中国。”

China have improved after Lippi took over one year ago. They defeated old foes South Korea in the last phase of the World Cup qualifying in March, 1-0, thanks to the goal from Yu. It was just China's second win over South Korea in all their 33 matchups. The media even coined the word "Koreaphobia" to describe China's poor performance against their Asian neighbors.

里皮接手一年之后,中国已经有所改善。在三月份的世界杯预选赛最后阶段,他们以1:0战胜了韩国老对手。这只是中国在33场比赛中的第二场胜利。媒体甚至用“Koremansobia”这个词来形容中国对亚洲邻国的不良表现。

South Korean media, including the Yonhap News Agency, wrote that China have cured their "Koreaphobia." Fans were pessimistic about their prospects at next year's World Cup, where they were drawn in the same group with defending world champions Germany, as well as Mexico and Sweden.

包括联合通讯社在内的韩国媒体写道,中国已经治愈了他们的“韩国恐惧症”。球迷们对他们明年世界杯的前景感到悲观,他们被保卫世界冠军德国队,墨西哥队和瑞典队同组。

"What are we going to do with Mexico and Sweden now that we couldn't even beat China?" wrote one fan on social media.

“我们现在和墨西哥、瑞典有什么关系,甚至连中国都赢不了?”一位粉丝在社交媒体上写道。

"With defenders like these, how could we play well at the World Cup?" another fan asked.

“有这样的后卫,我们怎么能在世界杯上踢得好呢?””另一个粉丝问。

But most Chinese fans and media refused to be carried away by the team's improvement.

但大多数中国球迷和媒体都拒绝被球队的进步冲昏头脑。

"Don't feel too good," wrote one Chinese fan on Sina Weibo. "South Korean media and fans feel it's like doomsday after failing to defeat China. That only means they're way too better than us."

一位中国粉丝在新浪微博上写道:“不要觉得太好了。”韩国媒体和粉丝们认为,这就像是在没有击败中国之后的世界末日。这只意味着他们比我们强。

"The gap between China and South Korea is still apparent despite the result," wrote the Beijing News. "The young players managed a hard-earned draw in the end, and they deserve praise. But if they don't play well in the following games, please show them more encouragement."

《北京新闻》写道:“尽管如此,中国与韩国之间的差距依然明显。”“这些年轻球员最终获得了来之不易的平局,他们值得表扬。”但如果他们在接下来的比赛中表现不佳,请给他们更多的鼓励。

China will play Japan on Tuesday before taking on North Korea on December 16 in their last game at the tournament.

中国将在周二对阵日本队,然后在12月16日在他们的最后一场比赛中对阵朝鲜。

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