China's Olympic team coach Ratomir Dujkovic has thrown caution to
the wind and declared the national team would aim for at least a
silver medal at the Asian Games.
Dujkovic, appointed last month to take the youth team to glory
at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Football Tournament, said China just
needed fortune on its side.
"If we are lucky enough during the games, then our team's goal
will be to break into the final," Dujkovic told the Beijing Youth
Daily, as the players arrived in Doha on Tuesday.
China is currently 84th in the world and 11th in the Asian
Football Confederation, according to FIFA rankings.
Pooled in second round Group E with Oman, Malaysia and the
winner of first round Group B, China will play a warm-up match
against their Asian Games hosts, Qatar on Friday.
Dujkovic, who successfully led the youth team to a 1-0 victory
over Cameroon in a friendly last week, said China would not take
the warm-up lightly.
"Due to the Asian Cup and the CFA Cup, we have not trained as a
full team for a long time. So, this game will be very important for
the players' lead-up."
He nominated Iraq, pooled in first round Group B, as China's
likely obstacle to advancing beyond the initial group stage.
The 15th Asian Games open in Doha on 1 December.
(China International Radio via Reuters November 24, 2006)