China savaged for humiliating loss to Oman

BEIJING - Chinese media and soccer fans savaged the national team on Thursday after new coach Yin Tiesheng took the injury-depleted side to a demoralising 3-1 loss in a friendly against Oman.

Chinese football fans have endured a miserable year, with the Olympic side knocked out of the group stages of the Beijing Games in August and the national side earlier bundled out of preliminaries for the 2010 World Cup finals.

The loss to Oman on Wednesday night in Muscat continued China's abysmal form and left the team ranked 100th in the world, their second lowest place ever.

"A most embarrassing beginning," moaned the headline of Thursday's Soccer News, which said Yin's debut was the worst of seven coaches appointed since 1992.

"One more humiliation for Chinese football," the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper said of China's first top-line defeat by the Gulf state.

Newspapers gave short shrift to substitute Qu Bo's second-half equaliser, focusing more on the young side's leaky defence.

"Thanks to good luck, (Oman) only scored three times," the Beijing News said.

Yin, who was named temporary head coach last week, put on a brave face after the match and said he was happy with his players' morale.

"My ultimate goal is attached to January's two Asian Cup qualifiers. Before that these matches are just warmups," he was quoted by the Soccer News as saying.

China play Iran on Friday in a second warm-up match before Asian Cup qualifiers against Vietnam and Syria in January.