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Chinese team return to heroes' welcome despite Asian Cup exit

(Xinhua)    12:18, January 24, 2015
Wang Dalei (C) and Zhang Linpeng (R) of the Chinese national soccer team arrive at Beijing International Airport on Jan. 24, 2015. (Photo source: Xinhua)

BEIJING, Jan. 24-- The Chinese national soccer team received a warm welcome at Beijing International Airport early Saturday morning after their quarter-final loss in the Asian Cup.

China qualified for the knockout stage for the first time since 2004 but failed to carry on their fairy-tale run, losing to hosts Australia 2-0 in the quarters.

The team beat Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and DPR Korea in the four-team group stage.

In contrast to bad feedbacks after their previous defeats, fans reacted with praises and encouragements. It was a touching moment when players saw a huge throng of fans waiting in the airport lobby, some of whom stayed there overnight in order not to miss the team.

"It is so moving to see so many fans welcome us. I hope I will see such scenes every time the team return home," said Yu Hai, who scored the winner in China's 1-0 opening win over Saudi Arabia.

Defender Zhang Linpeng was being chased by supporters for photos and autographs.

"We have spared no effort, although we didn't make it to the semifinals," said Zhang. "We have created many wonderful records. We are young and still have a long way to go."


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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