China can improve to keep World Cup dream alive, says Lippi
China's head coach Marcello Lippi (C) attends the press conference after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualification match between China and South Korea in Changsha, Central China's Hunan province, March 23, 2017. China won 1-0. [Photo/Xinhua]
CHANGSHA, China - Italian head coach Marcello Lippi believed that China can improve to keep alive the hope to qualify for 2018 World Cup after Team Dragon clinched a 1-0 home win over South Korea here on Thursday.
In the capacity He Long stadium, Yu Dabao headed in the Wang Yongpo corner in the 34th minute to give China the first win in six matches at the third phase of the World Cup Asian Zone qualifiers.
"Before the match, we knew the importance to win this match. And we worked hard to get the three points we must get. But it is not enough to win a ticket to World Cup. We need to continue this momentum and win the following matches, " said Lippi, who will lead China to visit Iran on March 28.
The victory temporarily moved China out of the bottom of the 6-team Group A where Iran stands atop with 11 points from five matches, ahead of South Korea on 10. Uzbekistan sits in third with nine and Syria is fourth with eight. Qatar lies bottom of group after five matches.
"We still have space to improve. We didn't play the same level as we did in the last match against Qatar," said Lippi.
"In the first half, we played too defensively in front of the opponent's pressure. I don't want to see the same 45 minutes in the following matches any more," he said. "In second half, my team was well organised in defence and created several chances to score. We sill have much work to do."