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It is a vital victory for China, says head coach Li Tie

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-08 16:35
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Li Tie during the match against the Philippines at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian zone qualifying match in the UAE on Monday. [Photo/Xinhua]

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates - China's head coach Li Tie hailed his team's 2-0 victory over the Philippines on Monday as "a vital win" in their quest to reach the final round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian zone qualifying.

Espanyol-based striker Wu Lei and Wu Xinghan each scored in the second half to hand China the much-needed victory.

With 13 points from six matches, China now ranks second in Group A and keeps alive its hopes of qualifying for the final round of Asian qualifiers as one of the four best group runner-ups.

Li told the post-game press conference that he was highly satisfied with the team's dedication as well as their determination for a win, saying victory never comes easily in sport.

"Every game is a 'do or die' for us because we can only progress step by step," said Li.

"I will help my players recover as soon as possible, to concentrate on the next battle," he added.

Wu Lei, who opened the scoring in the 56th minute with a penalty kick, attributed the victory to willpower and perseverance.

"I believe that everyone is fully prepared to overcome the difficulties we've encountered along this way," he said.

"As our head coach pointed out, victory belongs to the team who have tougher minds."

After China beat Guam 7-0 on home soil, the Group A matches of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers were moved from the Chinese city of Suzhou to the UAE due to the challenges faced by Syria and the Maldives in traveling to China.

China needs to win both of its remaining ties against the Maldives on June 11 and against Syria on June 15 to reach the final round.

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