China's Asian Cup campaign impresses nation's media
Beijing, Jan 14 (IANS) The Chinese media praised its national football team for entering the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup football tournament for the first time since 2004 Wednesday after registering two straight victories in the group stage.
China beat Saudi Arabia 1-0 Sunday and then defeated Uzbekistan 2-1 Wednesday, ensuring China the top place in Group B with one more game in hand, reports Xinhua.
China's internet portal sina.com proclaimed China's two opening straight wins in the group stage was the best start for the team in 27 years in Asian Cup.
The heavyweight newspaper People's Daily expressed thanks to this Chinese team on its social media account and admitted that the first quarter-final berth in 11 years was good enough to earn applause from all. The performance also inspired Chinese internet users to make jokes about China's football.
"There's little time left for Chinese team" was usually used when the Chinese team was falling behind by one or two goals, which was the most likely scenario in earlier matches.
But this time it was paraphrased to "There's little time left for Uzbekistan" when China were 2-1 ahead in the match. A lot of football fans wrote on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, that they are expecting to see the Chinese team in the 2018 World Cup finals.
"Sometimes spirit is what matters," Li Yi, a former Chinese international, said on his Weibo account. "As long as you play your best, I will support you for good."