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China; the sleeping dragon awakes

There was little about China’s preparation for this World Cup that suggested they’d be the best Asian team in France but after two matches, the Steel Roses look to be the dominant nation from the AFC.

Onto their third coach since the 2015 edition of the tournament, the runners-up from 1999 seem to be having a resurgence. Unlucky not to take anything from their match against Germany, the Steel Roses hit the front foot in Paris against South Africa and refused to relent until the whistle.

Although the match only finished 1-0, it could have been a more comfortable affair for China and they’ll be relishing a match-up against a Spain team that like to dominate possession, but struggle to take their chances. With three potential berths for the round of 16, China could surpass all expectations and finish in the top two in the group, Jia Xiuquan’s side quietly becoming a team not to be underestimated this summer.

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