Soccer fans furious after China draw 1-1 at home with Malaysia

A giant tifo is seen before the start of the match between China and Malaysia at the Phoenix Hill Sports Park Stadium in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan province, on September 9, 2023. Photo: VCG

China’s national soccer team suffered a disappointing 1-1 draw with Malaysia in its home match on Saturday, and fans continued to voice their dissatisfaction with the lackluster performance on Sunday.

For the more than 26,000 home fans gathered at the Phoenix Hill Sports Park stadium in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan province, the first half of the game got off to a shaky start as Malaysia surprised the hosts with a goal in the 11th minute. Fans breathed a momentary sigh of relief when Yoshiaki Hayashi scored the equalizing goal in the 36th minute.

China, currently ranked 80th in the FIFA world rankings, had 16 shots, while Malaysia, ranked 136th in the world, scored nine tries, and the home team boasted an overwhelming possession rate for 67% of the match.

When the stadium MC announced a draw, fans inside the stadium booed and yelled in anger, demanding their money back and shouting “Refund!”

Videos circulating on social media showed fans overwhelmed with anger during the match, suffering respiratory problems and having to be escorted out by other fans and medical staff.

“We didn’t deserve to win tonight,” China coach Aleksandar Jankovic told reporters after the game. “The fans cheered us on throughout the game, so we were disappointed to let them down.”

What further infuriated Chinese soccer fans was the news that China’s neighbors Japan had defeated former World Cup champions Germany 4-1 in an away friendly on Sunday.

“We used to be at the same level as Japan, but now I think we are about 30 years behind Japan,” fan user Xinli wrote on Weibo. “At under-15 level we have made some progress but the gap is still huge.”

China’s under-15 national team defeated Japan’s national team on Friday in the final of the East Asian Under-15 Championship in Qingdao, eastern China’s Shandong province.

In even more good news for Chinese football, the U-23 national team defeated India last weekend thanks to a 96th-minute goal from Naibijan Mohemati, avoiding yet another draw with the national team in one night. .

The senior national team will face Syria on Tuesday, and coach Janković sees this as an opportunity to prove his team’s capabilities.

“The good thing is that in three days we have a match to prove ourselves. We need to fix the problems.” [we have] And win for the fans,” he said.

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