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Lewandowski apologizes to Polish fans for Hungary loss******
WARSAW, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Poland national team captain Robert Lewandowski on Thursday apologized to Polish fans for the team's unexpected loss to Hungary in the last game of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.。
Poland secured the second position in Group I thanks to a victory against Andorra and they needed one point in Monday's game against Hungary to be seeded in the World Cup play-offs.。
However, Marco Rossi's team beat Poland 2-1 in Warsaw. The defeat stirred up a storm in Poland. It's believed that both coach Paulo Sousa and Robert Lewandowski are responsible for the loss as they had decided that the team's best player would miss the clash with Hungary.。
On Thursday, the Bayern Munich forward released a statement, in which the 33-year-old emphasized "he can only apologize to the Polish fans" as he "understands their anger."
"We talked about my performances with coach Sousa before the training camp. I signaled that by playing so many games and knowing my body, I might not be in the best shape in both games. Together we agreed that in the case of our victory against Andorra, other players will get their chance in the match against Hungary," Lewandowski wrote.。
"I understand the anger and bitterness of the fans and as captain I can only apologize to them. I assure them we will do everything we can to advance to the final tournament. I'm a realist and I know that for me it could be a fight for the last World Cup. I will do everything in my power to help our team," the Pole added.。
"I have never refused to play for the national team. As long as my health allows it, I will never do it. Playing at the National Stadium in front of our audience will always be a reason to feel pride," he concluded.。
In the first match of the qualification second round, Poland will face one of the six seeded rivals, including Portugal, Scotland, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Wales. The draw will take place on November 26 in Zurich, Switzerland. Enditem。
Chinese shuttler He Jiting retires from Denmark Open******
ODENSE, Denmark, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- After losing his men's doubles match at the BWF Denmark Open, Chinese shuttler He Jiting retired from the tournament here on Wednesday due to injury.
He and former partner Tan Qiang had a 5-0 record against Japan's Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi across previous encounters, but were outclassed by the same opponents on Wednesday in straight sets 21-13, 21-10.
"I was a bit exhausted, but that's not an excuse, because our opponents are the same. It's fair," said 23-year-old He.
"I did not play much in the cup games, maybe I rested too long," said Tan, "We were not feeling right until the second set, but it's too late."
Paired with Liu Xuanxuan in the mixed doubles, He announced his retirement from the tournament while trailing 6-1 in the first set to Malaysian duo Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai.
Liu progressed to the round of 16 in the women's doubles with partner Xia Yuting, overpowering the Canadian duo Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai 21-11, 21-19.
20-year-old talent Feng Yanzhe, paired with Du Yue in his BWF tournament debut, edged India's pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-17, 14-21, 21-11 in the mixed doubles.
Lu Guangzu had a good start in his men's singles match against Brice Leverdez but missed a key point and lost the first set 23-21. Undeterred, the 25-year-old raised his game against his French opponent and grabbed the following two sets 21-10, 21-6.
"It's a real challenge to play so many tight games in a row," said Lu, "I'm feeling tired and a bit relaxed after the Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup tournaments. It's important to keep a good mentality."
He Bingjiao won in straight sets against Singapore's 22-year-old Yeo Jia Min 21-14, 21-17 in the first encounter between them, booking a berth in the second round.
Wang Zhiyi edged Iris Wang of the United States 21-19, 22-20. In the women's singles match between Han Yue and Sayaka Takahashi, the 22-year-old Chinese lost their fifth encounter 21-15, 18-21, 16-21.
"It looks like I couldn't keep up with Sayaka today," said Han, "I felt the shuttle speed was a bit fast, or maybe it's because I haven't played for a while. I was impatient to counterattack and the moves are just not right." Enditem
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华商报记者 杨宁 编辑 牛佩瑶 陶亚星