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China ready to snip curse facing US at World Cup

(Xinhua)    13:51, June 25, 2015

OTTAWA, June 24 -- A highly anticipated World Cup quarterfinal will be held on Friday between China and the United States, a repeat of the 1999 women's World Cup final.

Although the US was unbeaten against China in the World Cup and Olympics, the "Steel Roses" may have opportunities to reach the last four this time.

China midfielder Wang Shuang believes her team is growing with each outing.

"I feel we are getting better and better with every match that we play. In the first game we were nervous, then the second game we were more relaxed, and in the third we got rid of more and more nerves," she said.

Comparing to the US, the Chinese players have two extra days to rest. What's more, American starters Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe are suspended due to two yellow cards each in previous matches.

"I'm a little worried about how the US will do without Rapinoe and Holiday," commented an American internet user on FIFA official website.

"The USA is going to have a very difficult time scoring against China," added a netizen named 'GeoHardy' from Canada.

Not only football fans, China's solid defence has impressed their opponents before the match.

"China is very good defensively. They have numbers behind the ball, keeping the space very compact. It's tough to break that down," Meghan Llingenberg said in the US first training preparing for the quarterfinal here Wednesday.

"China is very organized. They had a great tournament," Carli Lloyd said. "It is not an easy game. They're very diligent, very patient in attack. They're a quality side. We just have to continue to find our form, just to make it happen."

Being different from the US' low key, China's players are ready to write one of the most colorful chapters in their storied history.

"We watched USA play and saw their strengths as well as their weaknesses, so in our next match we will use our strengths against their weaknesses. Their strengths are that they are physically strong, and they attack and defend fast. Their weaknesses are certain aspects in their defence, like how they turn, and that will be our focus," said Wang.

In Chinese 4-2-3-1 formation, two defending midfielders Tan Ruyin and Ren Guixin may face American fierce tackles in the game. However, Tan has known how to reply the situation.

"We must move faster and further than before, and pass quickly and decisively when we receive the pass," said Tan.

"I'd like to face the US, and best wishes to our brave warriors!" China's coach Hao Wei said.

Whether the "Steel Roses" win or lose, Hao's period has been described as the best women's team in the 21st century.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Jin Chen,Gao Yinan)

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