China’s last group match in the ongoing Asian Cup against Uzbekistan was further clouded as starting goalie Li Leilei was confirmed unable to play, owing to injury.
Website Sohu reports that Li will sit out Wednesday’s match after a check on Tuesday showed his injured right ankle unlikely to sustain the intensity of the match.
Li strained his joint in the first half of the game against Iran, when he tried to clear the ball away from the box.
Li’s sideline will force China to a tougher plight as captain Zheng Zhi and full back Li Weifeng are suspended for two yellow cards in earlier matches.
However, head coach Zhu Guanghu is still confident of the team’s results in the event, Xinhua reported.
Yang Jun, picked by Zhu with convincing performances in league matches and a warm-up series in the U.S., will replace Li as China’s keeper.
China will play against Uzbekistan on Wednesday, where a draw is enough for China to qualify for the quarter-finals.