Regrettably, the Chinese men's soccer team will not have a chance to follow up its 2008 Olympics performance—six goals against, one goal for, two red cards, one vicious episode of crotch-punching—with an appearance in London in 2012. The People's Republic was eliminated from the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament yesterday, thanks to what China Daily called a "refereeing error" by Iran's Mohsen Torki.

The video does seem to show Wu Xi being wrongly called offside on what would have been the winning goal against Oman, just before the end of injury time. Well, not the winning goal, exactly. China was ahead in the match 1-0, but it needed an extra goal because it had already lost to Oman (population: 2.8 million) 1-0 earlier in the tournament, so when the goal was waved off, the aggregate score between them stayed tied at 1-1. Oh, and China was playing short-handed because one player had been ejected for a late tackle.

So the match went to extra time, and China responded to soccer adversity in its usual way, the way that has long endeared Guozu to the Chinese public—by rolling over and letting Oman score three more goals. AFP reported:

"The weather was hot and the players are not used to this type of weather, and in extra time a lot of the players were suffering and we could not organise ourselves properly," said assistant coach Li Bing.
"It is shame we have lost the chance to play in the next phase, but we have learnt a lot from this match."