Practise penalties? No point, says China's Lippi

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

AL-AIN, United Arab Emirates (AFP) — China coach Marcello Lippi revealed a relaxed approach to penalty shoot-outs yesterday, but declared key man Wu Lei fit to face Thailand in their Asian Cup knockout tie.

Although today's last-16 game could go to penalties, Lippi, 70, said there was little point practising spot kicks, and that he hadn't yet decided who would take them.

The old-school approach is at odds with the intricate preparations of the likes of Gareth Southgate, who masterminded England's penalties win over Colombia at last year's World Cup.

But the veteran Italian campaigner is no stranger to shoot-outs, after his Italy side beat France on penalties in the 2006 World Cup final.

“We haven't done any particular training on penalty kicks,” Lippi shrugged.

“From my experience, you don't have to practise penalties because it depends on the moment; it depends on the player, his character, his mood, if he's strong enough to handle the pressure,” he added.

“You can train every day but in the end, training doesn't really help.”

China last endured an Asian Cup penalty shoot-out in 2004, when they edged Iran to reach the final — with current captain Zheng Zhi one of the scorers.

“The mood in the team is very good,” said Zheng, 38. “We're very confident. We want to do our best to reach the quarter-finals so we are highly motivated.”

China's hopes also received a lift when Lippi described Wu, who missed Wednesday's 2-0 defeat to South Korea, as “ready to go” for Sunday's game.

Reports from China had suggested a serious shoulder injury for the highly influential forward, who scored a sparkling double in the Group C win over the Philippines.

Wu also scored twice in China's 2-0 friendly win against Thailand last year in Bangkok, but bitter memories endure of their 5-1 thrashing by the Thais in 2013.

Lippi warned that Thailand would pose a serious threat in Al Ain, noting their revamp since sacking coach Milovan Rajevac following their 4-1 group defeat to India.

“They replaced their head coach after their first game and they changed their tactics and basic formation. But what is very important is that they changed their attitude,” Lippi said.

“They're very aggressive, very determined, so we have to be careful, we have to be smart. We have to be ready because it's not going to be an easy match.”

Lippi added that China would pay special attention to the “Thai Messi” playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin, who he called “very quick, nimble, very aggressive.

“He presses everyone with his teammates and he has remarkable technical skills. He's an important player,” Lippi said.

“Hopefully we can play like we did against the Philippines, because it's important not to give them too much space,” the Italian added.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon