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National soccer team ends dry spell

[ 2010-02-11 13:20]     字号 [] [] []  
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The national soccer team yesterday won its first match against South Korean players in an international game in the last 32 years, giving a much-needed boost to a Chinese soccer scene mired by match-fixing and illegal betting scandals.

China beat South Korea 3-0 in the East Asian Men's Soccer Championship held in Tokyo, after scoring two goals in the first half and a third one in the second half to bag the biggest margin in all matches between the long-time soccer rivals since 1978.

The victory was a relief for head coach Gao Hongbo, who has been under great pressure amid rumors about his involvement in match-fixing and gambling in the domestic soccer league.

"We had a good return after a period of hard work and preparation," said Gao, adding that luck had a part to play in the Chinese team's win.

But the coach played down the breakthrough match, saying China's soccer still has a long way to go.

The Chinese national soccer team has lost 16 times to its South Korean competitor in 27 matches, by margins of up to two goals.

Still, Wei Di, the newly appointed chief of the sport's governing body, spoke highly of the Chinese players' performance.

"We did a great job today," said Wei, director of the Football Administrative Center.

"We broke the jinx and it's a gift for the soccer fans for the Chinese New Year."

Wei said it was the best result at the right time as Chinese soccer is undergoing a difficult period.

"The sport currently has many problems and it was not an easy game for the players and coaches," he said.

The stunning victory came at a critical time, after two of China's high-ranking officials in charge of the sport, including Wei's predecessor Nan Yong, were removed from their posts amid probes into match-fixing scandals.

The police have also detained more than 20 soccer players, club coaches and managers in the high-profile crackdown.

State broadcaster CCTV also did not broadcast any of the matches live.

The East Asian Men's Soccer Championship features four teams - China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. China held a 0-0 tie with Japan on Feb 6 and will meet their last opponents Hong Kong on Feb 14


1. How many years has it been since the team won an international game?

2. What was the score?

3. What was the name of Wei’s predecessor who was removed from his post?


1. 32-years.

2. 3-0.

3. Nan Yong.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

National soccer team ends dry spell

About the broadcaster:

National soccer team ends dry spell

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.