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Maestro Lippi bows out as hapless China exit Asian Cup

27 January 2019

But Queiroz insisted Wednesday that rankings and statistics would count for little against China in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI, Jan 25 ― Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has moved to dampen the level of expectation surrounding his team at the Asian Cup by saying they are not even among the top three favourites to win the continental crown.

"We are not favorites as I feel there are never favorites in a game like this". "But these games are cup finals - they have no history, no past. I did not expect we will lose the game in this way", Lippi said.

It came after Japan had recorded a 1-0 win over Vietnam at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, courtesy of a Video Assistant Referee (VAR)-assisted penalty.

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Marcello Lippi is leaving his coaching position with China's national soccer team after a defeat at the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup.

Substitute Karim Ansarifard scored Iran's third goal after a gift from Shi Ke in the added time. First, we focus on beating Japan and we know that how strong Japan are.

"I want to thank everyone", he said at a Press conference.

Veteran Guangzhou R&F striker Xiao has been consigned to a bench role during the Asian Cup, but he proved the super sub for Lippi's men against Thailand, scoring just three minutes after his introduction. It was a particularly memorable strike as it was the 100th of the tournament - the first time the competition has ever racked up a century of goals, earning Xiao a commemorative ball.

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Regarded as one of the best, if not the best, goalkeepers in Asia, Beiranvand saved Ahmed Kano's penalty early in the win over Oman and made a few other crucial stops to save his side.

Lippi stepped down as planned after his side were crushed 3-0 by title-chasing Iran in Thursday's quarter-final, a humiliating way to bow out for the 70-year-old, who could barely hide his anger after the game.

With a clean net, Iran won four out of its five matches in the current Asian Cup, as it had a goalless draw with Iraq in the group stage. They achieved only one point after four games before the Italian took over, but managed to get to only one point off for a playoff spot for a World Cup berth under Lippi.

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Maestro Lippi bows out as hapless China exit Asian Cup