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Leaking defence dims China's quarterfinal hope
at Beijing Olympic women's handball
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Leaking defence dims China's quarterfinal hope
at Beijing Olympic women's handball
 + -  
13:20, August 15, 2008

Host China's hope for quarterfinal became slim after losing 29-26 to Kazakhstan at Beijing Olympic women's handball event in Beijing on Thursday.

After roaring past Angola 32-24 on Wednesday, China could have booked a ticket for the quarterfinal if they snatched another victory against Kazakhstan. However, Chinese players cracked down under huge pressure, failing to score an opening goal before the opponent surged a 5-0 run at the beginning of the match.

After center back Li Weiwei opened scoring for China eight minutes into the game, host conquered the pressure and regained their rhythm. However, they still could not close the gap with their leaking defence constantly broken through by Kazakhstan players.

The 1.63m-high winger Marina Pikalova, the shortest player in the court, netted in eight points with her fast movements while the 1.92-high Olga Ajiderskaya, the tallest one, earned six goals thanks to her powerful long shots.

"My focus was on defence. Because defence is crucial to success in match. I am not worried about our attack. To be honest, the Chinese team's defence was not as good as their attack," said Lev Yaniyev, coach of Kazakhstan.

China will face France, 5th placer in 2007 World Championship, in the last preliminary match and it will be very difficult for the host to win the match.

The Chinese side can only lay their hope on Angola, who will take on Kazakhstan in the last game. If Angola wins, China still have chance to enter the quarterfinal due to a better goal difference.

Source:Xinhua

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1 China 22 7 6 35
2 USA 14 12 17 43
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