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China prepares for Qatar test


11-04-2016 10:45 BJT

Marcelo Lippi’s role as China’s new national team head coach is finally underway. The Italian was named manager late last month, and held his first training session with the squad earlier this week, as the team prepares for its next World Cup qualifying match, set for November 15 against Qatar.

Marcello Lippi (4th R), head coach of China

Marcello Lippi (4th R), head coach of China's national soccer team, talks to players during the training session for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Zone Qualifiers against Qatar at Haigeng training base in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, on Nov. 3, 2016. (Xinhua/Yang Zongyou)

The 68-year-old led his team onto the pitch, and, as is his custom, he only allowed the media to record about 15 minutes practice. The team went through a brisk workout, as the players got to know their new boss. The squad’s next training session is a week from now. The only absence from the 23-man roster was Zhang Yuning, who is playing overseas in the Dutch Eredivisie.

With six games remaining, China is at the bottom of its group with no wins, and the chances of qualifying for Russia are remote. 

Lippi was appointed coach of the national team when Gao Hongbo suddenly announced his resignation after China lost to Uzbekistan 2-0 October 11.

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