China’s men’s national soccer team lost their final World Cup Qualifier match 2-0 to Oman on Tuesday, March 29.
Neither team was able to qualify prior to the match. Oman and China have finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in Group B of the Asian World Cup Qualifiers.
See below for the final standings of Groups A and B (note that the top two teams qualify, while the two third place teams enter a playoff):
Screengrab via ESPN
The 2022 World Cup will take place in Qatar in November and December. China’s qualifying campaign for the tournament was effectively ended on February 1, 2022 when they were defeated 3-1 by Vietnam.
It was a result that sparked not only anger, but also debate about equal pay. That’s because, in contrast to the disappointing performances of the men’s team, China women’s soccer team were crowned champions of the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup; they beat South Korea 3-2 in the final of the tournament.
China’s men’s national team has only qualified for the World Cup once in the tournament’s history. That was all the way back in 2002 when the tournament was hosted jointly by South Korea and Japan. China lost all three of their games and failed to score a single goal on that occasion.
On Weibo, the hashtag “China’s national team have to wait another four years” has been viewed over 88 million times, as of press time.
The 2026 World Cup is set to take place in Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Better luck next time?
[Cover image via Unsplash]