China’s World Cup dream fades

Marcello Lippi’s China vowed to fight on after their 2018 World Cup hopes were all but destroyed when Syria’s late equaliser left them bottom of their qualifying group and with their captain in tears.

Wu Xi’s volley six minutes later put China in sight of victory but they were stunned when Al Salih swept home his free kick in the third added minute.

China, who are investing heavily at international, domestic and grassroots football, are now bottom of Asian qualifying Group A with just two games left.