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Optimistic Dujkovic Shoots for Final at Doha
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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)

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