Male', MALDIVES - China national football team arrived at Maldives on Sunday for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers against Maldives on Tuesday.
Maldives won their opening game of the campaign against Guam last week and won the match by 1-0. Ibrahim Mahudhee scored the only goal for the Maldives. However, this will be the first match of China in Group A.China is aiming to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup under Marcello Lippi, who won the 2006 FIFA World Cup with Italy. To make it possible Chinese naturalized Brazil-born striker, Elkesson will play against the Maldives on Tuesday.
"I know the Chinese fans have put so much hope in me, and I will repay them with goals. My target is to score goals for China and help the team win. We will play our first match in the qualifiers next week and hopefully we can have a good start." said the 30-year-old through an interpreter at China's training camp in Guangzhou earlier this week.
China does not recognize dual nationality, so any player wishing to be eligible to represent the country under FIFA rules, either through residence or ancestry, also has to give up their previous passport.
China and Maldives were in same group during 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying and China won both legs by 3-0 and 4-0 respectively.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 20:00 hours at the National Football Stadium on Tuesday.