In the quarter-final of U20 Asian Cup, China lost to S. Korea 1-3 after taking a surprising lead at the beginning of the second half. A controversial penalty drew South Korea level and an exhausted China, who played last game a day later than their opponent and made no rotation in the game, was defeated in extra time. After the game, China Goalkeeper Li Hao, recently signed by Atlético de Madrid, was interviewed by media.
Q: Saw you crying after the game.
Li Hao: Today (the 12th) is the last step (to qualify for the U20 World Cup), we are so close to this last step! We all fought so hard, to the last overtime, but in the end we were not able to hold, it’s really too bad. Everyone has been working hard for so long to achieve their dreams and goals.
Q: However, the overall performance of our team today is still quite good.
Li Hao: Everyone was fighting and trying to accomplish their dreams and goals, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen.
Q: From the latter part of the second half of the 90 minutes, and then to overtime, in fact, many of our main players went off the field because of injuries or physical discomfort, and it can be said that it was the replacement lineup that was playing, that is, the players who had played less earlier were playing. Did this cause us to have some deviations in execution?
Li: After they came on the field, they all performed quite hard, maybe it was our overall performance until the last moment, the other side’s several set pieces, including a few high balls, our overall position is not good enough, let the other side seize the opportunity. And it was just like that for a short period of time.
Q: This has a lot to do with our players’ declining physical ability, doesn’t it? Because at that time, I felt that I couldn’t even jump up.
Li: I think it’s due to a combination of factors.
Q: Because of the loss, the mission of this team is over for the time being. What do you think about the future?
Li Hao: Next we will go back to our respective clubs, improve ourselves and prepare for the task of the national team later.
Q: Will you go directly to Spain or go straight back to your country first?
Li Hao: I will go back to my country first, and then report to my club in Madrid.
Q: What about the next national Olympic team, how do you think about it?
Li Hao: It depends on the needs of the team. If there is an opportunity, I hope to be able to help the national Olympic team.