Algarve Cup: Peng Shimeng shrugs off crisis talk as China suffer 3rd loss in a row
Hu Zhicheng

Chinese goalkeeper Peng Shimeng insisted his team was not in crisis mode after they suffered yet another demoralizing loss at the hands of the Netherlands on Wednesday night at the 2019 Algarve Cup in Albufeira, Portugal.

The Steel Roses kicked off their preparations for the upcoming Women's World Cup in high spirits, with top striker Wang Shuang in typically scintillating form since joining French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

However, an opening 1-3 defeat to Norway has acted as a domino effect for some more poor results. Jia Xiuquan's side were outclassed in their following game against Denmark, and they slumped to another loss to an average Dutch side after a penalty shootout nightmare.

Peng Shimeng was magnificent in the China rearguard during the Algarve Cup clash with the Netherlands, March 6, 2019. /VCG Photo

Peng Shimeng was magnificent in the China rearguard during the Algarve Cup clash with the Netherlands, March 6, 2019. /VCG Photo

Speaking after China finished bottom of the 12-team tournament, the 21-year-old Peng -- the youngest member of the China squad -- dismissed claims there was a mini-crisis at her beleaguered side.

"The Algarve Cup offers a great chance for us to learn and improve," said Peng, who produced a number of stunning saves to deny Sarina Wiegman's team.

"It's quite important to test ourselves against those top European opponents in the build-up to the World Cup in France."

Dutch defenders swarmed around China taliswoman Wang Shuang (C) during their Algarve Cup clash, March 6, 2019. /VCG Photo

Dutch defenders swarmed around China taliswoman Wang Shuang (C) during their Algarve Cup clash, March 6, 2019. /VCG Photo

China have been rotating their goalkeepers during the Algarve Cup, alternating between Wang Shimeng, Bi Xiaolin and Peng Shimeng. And after Peng shined in Albufeira with a marvelous display, the lively youngster hoped she would retain her place in between the sticks in France.

"The World Cup is firmly in sight now and I'm the least experienced goalkeeper in the squad, but I'm willing to hone my skills and hold myself to the highest standard," mused Peng.

"I'll do my utmost to help the team and hopefully I can earn a spot in the World Cup squad."