China Loses Home Ground Advantage For Vietnam Clash
|U22 Vietnam (in white) beat U22 China 2-0 in a friendly on September 8, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.|
A neutral venue
China's 2022 World Cup qualifier next month against Vietnam has been moved to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said.
According to Reuters, China has been unable to host their matches due to stringent quarantine restrictions put in place by authorities as the country continues to battle against the pandemic.
To prepare for the clash with Vietnam, China already travelled to UAE on Thursday for training, one month before the game.
China are at the bottom of group B, right below Vietnam. They lost two games like Vietnam but didn’t score any goal and didn’t even have any single shot on goal.
"I hope the players will treat each of the remaining games like a final. I truly expect them to have that kind of spirit when we face Vietnam," coach Li Tie told Chinese media.
During one month in UAE, the Chinese players would work on their stamina and play some friendlies with stronger teams, VnExpress reported.
China have been drawn in Group B of the continent's final round of qualifying for the World Cup alongside Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Oman.
The team will play Japan at a neutral venue in Doha on Tuesday before their third match on Oct. 7 against Vietnam.
"Similar to the current September window, the decision of a neutral venue was confirmed in light of the ongoing COVID-19 challenges faced by the Chinese Football Association in organising its home matches," the AFC said in a statement.
China and Vietnam last played almost 10 years ago in 2012, when the Chinese came away with a 3-0 win from a friendly match.
World Cup chance fades
|Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai (L) during the World Cup qualifiers game between Vietnam and Australia on September 7, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.|
Vietnam reached the third round of qualifying for the first time by coming second in Group G of the second round, knocking out regional rivals Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia along the way.
Vietnam were seeded in the lowest-ranked pot for the draw as one of the two lowest teams in the FIFA rankings, vietnamnews reported.
Consecutive defeats in the final round of World Cup qualifiers have slimmed down Vietnam's chance of advance.
According to statistics site We Global, the chance for Vietnam to advance before the final round was 4.44 percent. After the previous two games, the number has dropped to 0.28 percent.
The probability for Vietnam to finish third (the position to qualify for the playoffs) is just 1.36 percent, while the chance of elimination is 98.36 percent.
The Golden Dragons lost 1-3 to Saudi Arabia on Sept. 2, then were beaten 0-1 by Australia five days later.
|The final draw for the third round of World Cup qualifying in Asia. Photo the-afc.com.|
In the same boat are China, who have also lost the first two games (against Australia and Japan). China’s chance of elimination is 97.80 percent.
Japan are still the biggest contender to advance, despite losing the first game. After a victory in the second game, their chance to move on is 84.04 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia (55.72) and Australia (51.76).
The site ran a risk analysis using Monte Carlo, a computational algorithm that relies on repeated random sampling to obtain numerical results of the third qualifying round of 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers. We Global put out the probability based on its own evaluation of teams.
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