11.06.2019 16:01 h

Lippi makes it two wins in two since China return

Marcello Lippi made it two wins from two matches since returning as China coach with a 1-0 home victory over Tajikistan on Tuesday.

Forward Yang Xu scored the only goal in a low-key friendly in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, with Lippi fielding an experimental side.

Aside from Yang's neat finish after 10 minutes, which came following some good link-up play, there was little for the home fans to get excited about.

But Lippi, the 71-year-old who guided his native Italy to World Cup glory in 2006, has now won both games since he returned last month to the helm.

He had stood down as China coach after a 3-0 defeat to Iran in the Asian Cup quarter-finals in January.

On Friday, China, 74th in the FIFA rankings, defeated lower-ranked Philippines 2-0 in another home friendly.

Against Tajikistan, who were similarly obliging visitors and ranked 120th by FIFA, Lippi's side started the second half with six players from Chinese Super League (CSL) leaders Beijing Guoan.

Among them was China's first foreign-born player, the former England youth international Nico Yennaris, who won his second cap.

The London-born midfielder, known in China as Li Ke, came on as a first-half substitute and played an hour for his new country, having made his debut against the Philippines.

Under Lippi, China are attempting to reach the World Cup for just the second time.

Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 begin in the autumn.