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World Cup qualification 'in our hands'
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China's soccer players returned home with high morale on Tuesday, even though the team's World Cup qualifying match against Qatar on Monday was its third consecutive draw.

China now has two home matches to look forward to - Qatar again on Saturday and Iraq a week later - and as long as it wins both matches it will be almost assured a spot in the region's final qualifying round.

"I am sure we will make it into the next round," vice president of the China Football Association Xie Yalong said. "Everyone on the team is full of confidence because our fate is in our own hands."

Australia currently sits atop the so-called "group of death" with seven points after Sunday's 1-0 win against Iraq in Brisbane and looks likely to win the group. Asian Cup champion Iraq, meanwhile, is rooted at the bottom with just a single point.

China has three points and must gain three points in the upcoming tie against Asian Games champion Qatar, which currently stands second in the group with four points.

The top two teams in each group advance to the final round of Asian Zone qualification.

"We will play Qatar again on Saturday at home. We have no choice but to beat them," said China's Serbian head coach Ratomir Dujkovic.

"We will try to push forward and play more aggressive football than the matches on the road. I hope Chinese fans come to support us in Tianjin and I will not let them down."

It is a do-or-die match for China - if it does not beat Qatar, its fate will no longer be in its own hands.

"I do not think I have to repeat how important the match is. This match is crucial to whether we are able to advance from the group," Dujkovic said.

China came close to beating Iraq in its opening match in February and even had a chance to upset Australia at home in its second match in March, but it fell short both times and settled for draws.

Dujkovic said it was disappointing to end up with draws in the first two matches, but the team's level of play was a confidence-booster all the same.

"We played very good soccer in the first two matches but it's a pity we could not score more goals to win.

"We have no reason to be scared of Qatar. Qatar and Iraq play similar styles of soccer and they are almost on the same level. As long as we have a strong desire for victory throughout the match, we will beat them."

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