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China coach in upbeat mood ahead of South Africa match

(Xinhua)    14:34, June 13, 2019

(SP)FRANCE-PARIS-2019 FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP-GROUP B-CHINA-OFFICIAL PRESS CONFERENCE  

Head Coach Jia Xiuquan of China attends the official press conference one day ahead of the group B match between South Africa and China at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in Paris, France, June 12, 2019. (Xinhua/Mao Siqian)

PARIS, June 12 (Xinhua) -- China's head coach Jia Xiuquan keeps confident in his players though heading into their second match in the FIFA Women's World Cup with zero point and a goal against in Group B.

The 1999 runners-up, who lost to world No. 2 Germany 1-0 last Saturday, face crucial tie with debutants South Africa here on Thursday as they try to keep their knockout stage hopes alive.

"My players created some chances against Germany, showing that we've made certain progress through the preparations for this World Cup," Jia told a pre-match press conference at Parc des Princes.

"But we eventually failed to turn any of the opportunities into scoring, again confirming that Germany are a better team than us."

A total of 24 teams are divided into six groups, and top two finishers from each group plus four best third-placed advance to the knockout stage.

China now sit on the third in Group B, only better than bottom team South Africa on goal differential, while Germany lead the standings after nipping a 1-0 victory on Wednesday against Spain, who beat South Africa 3-1 in last Saturday's opening round.

A victory at Parc des Princes might give China a boost in confidence and the 3-point in need to keep their hopes of advancing alive.

"Rather than a positive result from tomorrow's game against South Africa, I'm more looking forward to some better performance from my players," said the former coach of the Chinese men's U-19 national team.

"I believe that a victory comes when you are strong enough, and I believe in my players who made enough efforts to come here," he added.

Chinese midfielder Gu Yasha, who scored to help China win over South Africa in the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, said her impression on the African side is that they're physically strong and play typical "African football".

"They are very characterized players. And I can tell that tomorrow's game against South Africa will be a fascinating play, no matter who come out the winners," she said.

"We're ready for a tough game," added the 28-year-old.


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(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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