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China
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Marcello Lippi positive about China chances despite friendly loss

Marcello Lippi felt his China side created chances.

China coach Marcello Lippi refused to be downhearted despite seeing his team beaten 2-0 by Serbia in a friendly in Guangzhou on Friday.

Adem Ljajic gave Serbia the lead after 20 minutes before Aleksandar Mitrovic sealed the win in the 69th minute.

It was China's first defeat since a 1-0 World Cup qualifying loss to Iran in March, and Lippi told reporters: "We expected it to be difficult.

"Our players have just finished the season and our main purpose was to observe them and look for new options for the national team.

"I'm not very happy with the first half performance. We lacked creativity and we were too tight. The players were not at their full capacity.

"But in the second half we created some chances and we were trying to take control of the game. Even though we lost in the end, we created a few opportunities."

Lippi's team now fly to Chongqing to take on Colombia, and the former Juventus and AC Milan coach was maintaining a positive outlook.

"If, in the future, we can keep creating chances, as we did three or four times in this match, then I have no doubt we will score soon," he said.

"The players are just back from the Chinese Super League season and their shape can't be compared with players who are in the middle of their season."

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch

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