China name youngest-ever squad for Asian Cup


BEIJING – China has announced its youngest-ever national squad for next month’s Asian Cup in Qatar as the football-loving nation hopes to turn the page on a nasty graft scandal that has marred the game.
With an average age of 24, the squad is the youngest in the history of the men’s senior team and only boasts one overseas-based player — Hao Junmin, who plies his trade in the German Bundesliga for Schalke 04.
“The ultimate goal for this young senior team is to make the 2014 World Cup,” Cao Jingwei, an official with the Chinese Football Association, told the China Daily. “The Asian Cup is just a test.”
China is in Group A alongside hosts Qatar, Kuwait and Uzbekistan in the January 7-29 continental championship.
The team hope to get out of the group and into the knockout stages, Cao said.
China squad:
Goalkeepers: Yang Zhi, Zeng Cheng, Guan Zhen
Defenders: Du Wei, Rong Hao, Li Xuepeng, Zhao Peng, Wang Qiang, Liu Jianye, Zhang Linpeng, Li Jianbin
Midfielders: Deng Zhuoxiang, Wang Song, Yu Tao, Zhou Haibin, Yu Hai, Qu Bo, Zhao Xuri, Yang Hao, Huang Bowen, Hao Junmin
Forwards: Gao Lin, Yang Xu.