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27 April 2018

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 2007, China defied the odds by reaching the final (10/16)

Ahead of the 46th edition of the Toulon Tournament, which will be held from 26th May to 9th June, we’ve delved into the archives to relive some of the most memorable moments in the tournament history. Every Tuesday and Friday, we look back at the most thrilling facts provided by the competition. Today, throwback to 2007, when China became the first Asian nation ever to reach the Maurice Revello Tournament final.

Football is an unpredictable sport and the spectators who filled the stands during the Maurice Revello Tournament 2007 would not say the contrary. The 35th edition of the Toulon Tournament featured eight nations : France, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, Japan, Ghana, Ivory Coast and China. Given this lineup, few thought that the Chinese players would have a big chance to shine.

However, the Chinese national team has shown quickly that the Asian nation can beat the odds. The Chinese players started their competition by a 1-1 draw against Portugal before earning a 2-1 win over Netherlands led by future internationals like Jeremain Lens or Grégory Van der Wiel. The Asians confirmed their good form as they sealed their qualification for the semi-finals thanks to a 2-1 win over Ghana.

In semi-finals, China faced another African team : Ivory Coast.  Both sides couldn’t find the net during the elementary time and a winner has to be decided on penalties. Eventually, China won the penalty shootout (0-0, 5-4 pen).

It was an historic win as China became the first Asian nation ever to reach the Maurice Revello Tournament final. Led by a Chen Tao unstoppable and a Jiang Ning on fire, the Asians have had a last challenge to accomplish : beat the French players in the final front of their fans at the Stade Léo-Lagrange (Toulon).

Unfortunately for them, the Asians will discover the talent of a promising French striker : Kevin Gameiro. Unstoppable since the start of the tournament, the Atletico Madrid current player confirmed his good form by netting an hat-trick against the Chinese players who reduced the deficit thanks to Yu Hai (3-1).

Despite the loss, the main thing is that the Chinese youngsters have proven that they can shine on the international scene. And it’s not surprising to see that a number of these players have forced their way into the China senior national team after the tournament.

Amayes Brahmi

READ ALSO :

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1975, the Argentina of Daniel Passarella clinched the title (1/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1982, the emergence of the Koeman brothers (2/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1983, an epic final between Argentina and Brazil (3/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : when Jean-Pierre Papin left his mark on the Toulon Tournament’s history (4/16)
The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1987, when Hristo Stoichkov helped Bulgaria to reach the final (5/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1991, the Alan Shearer's legendary display (6/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1995-1996, when David Beckham was making his first steps in the tournament (7/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1997, a French golden generation led by Henry, Trezeguet and Anelka (8/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 2003, when Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Mascherano faced each other for the first time (9/16)

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