China fell to their second friendly defeat in a week in Chongqing yesterday as a weakened Colombia side hit Marcello Lippi’s team for four.
Like China, Colombia came into this game off the back of a defeat having lost 2-1 in South Korea last week. The visitors were also without two key players for the fixture as Edwin Cardona and more significantly James Rodriguez were both absent from the South American side’s squad. Colombia manager, Jose Pekerman, confirmed that James had left the national team early to prepare for his Bundesliga game with Bayern at the weekend, while Cardona remains in disgrace for a racist gesture he made during the game against South Korea.
Regardless of those absentees, this was a straightforward 4-0 win for Colombia. Supporters in China will have been frustrated to see their country’s team show the same problems that were evident in their previous game against Serbia. China again failed to score while too many defensive errors at the other end of the pitch prevented the home side from keeping the match competitive.
The tone was set for a poor defensive performance just four minutes in, as Felipe Pardo was gifted an opportunity to fire Colombia in front with the outside of his foot into the far bottom-left corner. China did well to go in at the break only 1-0 down having conceded so early, though the good pieces of last-ditch defending that denied the visitors were only required because of sloppy preceding errors.
The second half began with a golden chance for China to equalise and give the home fans hope but Wu Lei failed to beat goalkeeper Jose Cuadrado. The hosts were made to pay for that miss soon afterwards, as a simple through ball split the Chinese defence in half and Carlos Bacca raced through to double the lead.
Colombia’s third was the goal of the afternoon as Miguel Borra unleashed a blistering half volley from outside of the box. Some may argue Yan Junling should have done better, though the pace of the strike made it difficult for the keeper to react in time.
China saved their worst defensive moment until stoppage time right at the end of the game to leave those who actually stayed to see the game’s climax with an extra sour taste. China’s (wonky) back line was penetrated by another through ball and when Colombia’s winger raced onto the pass with Miguel Borra in tandem, Lippi’s defenders hardly even bothered to attempt to prevent the inevitable square pass which left Borra with an unmissable opportunity to double his tally.
Another sorry showing from China, who on the basis of this performance really will struggle to re-lift the nation’s support after failing to qualify for next summer’s World Cup.