DOHA, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) — Chinese goalkeeper Yan Junling said on Monday that the whole team is ready to face challenges in the upcoming FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualifiers.
“We all know that we will face huge challenges and difficulties in the final round, and we are ready to take up them,” the Chinese national team’s first-choice goalie told reporters following a training session in Doha.
“It’s time to prove our real level in Asia. We really cherish the opportunity and we will enjoy the process,” he added.
China has been drawn against Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Oman in the final round of the Asian qualifying tournament. The top two teams will qualify directly, with the third-place finisher entering play-offs.
The first two matches of the Chinese team will be held in Doha. Due to the current international travel policy in China, it’s still uncertain when the Chinese team could return to its own country to host home matches.
“I brought ten pairs of gloves to Doha, I am prepared to stay abroad for a long time,” Yan said.
China will kick off its final round campaign Thursday against Australia, whose top scorer in the previous round of qualifying is the 1.98-meter tall center-back Harry Souttar, with six set-pieces goals in five matches.
“The coaching team provided very detailed information about the player to us. He is a real danger in set pieces. I need to be closer to him and help our defenders clear those high balls,” the 30-year old goalkeeper said.
“We will make some changes on the basis of our basic tactics, but it’s more important that every player should be personally prepared,” Yan noted.