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Li Tie replaces Lippi as China men's coach

BEIJING (AP) — Former Everton and Sheffield United midfielder Li Tie was hired Thursday as coach of China's national soccer team, replacing Marcello Lippi. Li had been caretaker coach since Lippi resigned at a post-match news conference after China lost to Syria 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier in November.

Li's appointment was widely anticipated before the announcement by the Chinese soccer association. Known for his phenomenal work rate, Li was on the only Chinese men's team to make it to the World Cup. China played at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea under Serbian coach Bora Milutinovic.

China has struggled since in international competition and is currently ranked 76th by FIFA.

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