China meet Turkey, Colombia and Brazil in group play in what should be a group of death with no team obviously going to finish last. With a good day and all their players doing well, China has the potential to make it out of group play but going much further seems doubtful as their recent performances have not been something to write home about. Last month, China finished third at the Para Asian Games, behind gold medalist Iran and silver medalist Japan. Iran isn’t event in the competition. China finished fifth at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, after winning the placement match to continental powerhouse Iran in a game that went to penalty kicks. Still, as a relatively new kid on the block with a history of performing admirably, and with the team only having been created to compete at the home hosted 2008 Summer Paralympics, the team does not have the pressure of expectations. If China is on, they should be able to repeat their 2012 Paralympic Games performance, and could be a darkhorse to repeat their 2008 Paralympic performance. If China is off, a ninth place finish is not out of the question. In bottom placement games, they should easily be ahead of Morocco, South Korea and should be able to beat Japan.
In terms of their performance against teams in their pool, China defeated Turkey 4 – 0 at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. China lost to Brazil 1 – 0 at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. They drew 1 – 1 against Brazil at the 2008 Summer Paralympics, and lost to Brazil 2 – 1 in medal round.
China has performed well against other teams in the competition, especially regional Asian powers. Against France, China drew 0 – 0 at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. They drew 1 – 1 against France at the 2010 World Championships. Against Germany, they drew 1- 1 at the 2011 IBSA World Games. Against Japan, China 3 – 0 at the 2010 Para Asian Games. They tied Japan 0 – 0 at this year’s Para Asian Games. They defeated Japan 2 – 0 at the 2011 Asian Championships. They beat Japan twice at the 2009 Asian Championships. Against South Korea, China drew 1 -1 at this year’s Para Asian Games with Dongdong Lin scoring. At the 2010 Para Asian Games, South Korea lost to China 4 – 0. They drew 9 – 0 against South Korea at the 2011 Asian Championships. They also beat South Korea at the 2009 Asian Championships. They beat South Korea at the 2008 Summer Paralympics. Against Spain, China defeated them at the 2008 Summer Paralympics.
The team China took to this year’s Para Asian Games included Yafeng Wang, Dongdong Lin, Kai Gao, Jiansen Wei,Lei Niu, Lijing Zhang, Zhoubin Wang, Guansheng Xu, Meng Liu and Huachu Xu. This is a relatively youthful squad with the oldest player being twenty-seven year old Kai Gao. Lijing Zhang is one of the youngest players at only twenty-years old. Guansheng Xu is only eighteen years old. Meng Liu is nineteen years old.
Dongdong Lin is one of the Chinese players to look out for. He was the only player his side who scored at the Para Asian Games, putting in two goals. Overall, he finished second in the tournament in total goals, behind Iranian player Behzad Zadaliasghari Yengejeh, who had four. He finished ahead of Japanese players Kento Kato, Tomonari Kurodo, and Akihito Tanaka who all scored 1 a piece.