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China needs luck to reach semis at Doha
Latest Updated by 2006-11-16 14:39:32
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Chinese U-23 national soccer team is facing a formidable task of reaching the last four at the Doha Asian Games 2006, as newly-signed coach Ratomir Dujkovic doesn't have enough time to improve the young team.

Chinese soccer suffered a lot during the past year. The national team had some shabby performances in the Asian Cup qualifiers with an away loss to Iraq and two embarrassing games with Singapore. China's U-19 and U-16 teams both did bad jobs at big occasions. And it's Serbian veteran boss Dujkovic's arrival that gives some hope to the Chinese fans.

Dujkovic showed self confidence after taking over the team in early November. The Serb holds the belief that two years is enough for him to forge a strong team to do something at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

But for the upcoming Doha games the time shortage is obvious, Dujkovic only has less than a month to train the team and he even doesn't know the names of his guys.

China will send their Olympic team to compete at Doha, and three Chinese internationals Zheng Zhi, Sun Xiang and Ji Mingyi are included in the squad.

The majority of the young players took part in the World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005, when they had some nice memories of three consecutive wins in the group matches and only to be shut out by Germany 3-2 at the knockout stage.

The former Ghana coach said he had found some talents in the team, and with the support of experienced players like national team captain Zheng Zhi, the team can do well at Doha.

But things are not that easy, one can find too many problems in the team's 1-0 victory over Cameroon at an international friendly on November 12. China made a lot of mistakes in the passing and defense, and there was an apparent lack of understanding between the players.

The group stage is also unfavourable for China. They are sitting in Group E together with Oman, Malaysia and the first place team of Group B at Round 1, which is the preliminary stage to pick two teams out of eight to join the other 22 teams.

As strong teams like Iraq, Syria are likely to top Group B to qualify for the group stage, China will meet big challenge.

If China finally go through to the quarter-finals, it's probable for them to entertain a strong Japan side, which are likely to top Group F. Therefore it seems the Chinese team really need some luck to advance to the semifinals.

Editor: Donald

By: Zheng DaojinSource:China View website
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