SPORTS China prepares for World Cup qualifiers, South Korea and Saudi Arabia claim group stage wins

SPORTS

China prepares for World Cup qualifiers, South Korea and Saudi Arabia claim group stage wins

CGTN

08:53, June 07, 2021

Team China pose for a group picture before the World Cup qualifying Group A match against Guam in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, May 30, 2021. (Photo: CFP)

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers continued on Saturday in Asia, in which South Korea defeated Turkmenistan 5-0 in Group H, and Saudi Arabia beat Yemen 3-0 in Group D.

The Chinese national team has secured second place in Group A, followed by a 7-0 victory over Guam a week ago. Next on the schedule for China are matches with the Philippines, the Maldives and Syria from June 7 to 15 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Chinese team traveled to UAE due to a change of plan on short notice, as the remaining three matches were initially scheduled to be played in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province. Both the Maldives and Syria had players testing positive for COVID-19 recently, which denied the original schedule to go as planned given China's quarantine protocols.

Upon request of football associations of these two nations to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and with the consent of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), the location was changed from Suzhou to Dubai.

The Chinese squad had its first training session in Sharjah, the UAE, on Friday, adapting to local weather and the pitch, with all 28 players participating except for reserve goalkeeper Wang Dalei due to a waist injury.

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