PATTAYA, Thailand, March 19 (Xinhua) -- China lost to Japan 6-1 in the second group match at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Beach Soccer Asian Cup 2023 here on Sunday.
China was short-handed as two players were suspended after being sent off by red cards in their 4-1 turnaround victory against Lebanon while defending champions Japan strolled past Indonesia 7-0.
Still, China took the lead thanks to a mistake from Japanese keeper Shinya Shibamoto in the eighth minute when his clearance was blocked by China's Han Xuegeng, and the ball was deflected back to the Japanese goal.
However, Japan immediately rebounded and lead 2-1 in the 10th minute after Japanese goalkeeper Shibamoto redeemed himself by striking a long-range goal. Japan went on to score four more goals to end the match 6-1.
"The players followed the strategy that we proposed, and part of the result was good as we are improving and playing better," said Chinese head coach Marcelo Mendes after the match. "But we cannot compare with their experience."
In the third group match, China will face Indonesia, who lost both their first two group matches, to vie for qualification.
"The qualification is in our hands, if we beat Indonesia, we go through to the second round, but we need to respect them and play like we played Lebanon and like we played today," said Mandes.
With a total of 16 teams, the AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup 2023 also serves as the qualifier for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2023, which is scheduled to be played in November.