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China coach confident of Olympic women's football qualification

2020-10-12 15:24:00 Xinhuanet

KUNMING, China, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Jia Xiuquan, head coach of the Chinese women's national football team, has expressed confidence that his team can beat South Korea in next year's qualifying playoff to secure a berth in the Tokyo Olympics.

Jia made the remarks on the sidelines of the 2020 Chinese Football Association Women's Super League which concluded in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming on Sunday. He has been observing the players and mulling the line-up for the two-legged playoff against South Korea, slated for next February.

Jia said the league has provided some much-needed competitive action for the "Steel Roses".

"The players are finding their rhythm on the field, but they have yet to hit their best form to ensure a victory over South Korea next February," he said. "They need to further improve their techniques, coordination and tactics."

Having observed the league games for nearly a month, Jia said he already had a new national team roster in mind, which would be based on the lineup that drew with Australia in February's Olympic qualifiers.

"We will add new blood," he said. "The door of the national team is always open to those who are in good form and willing to fight, no matter they are teenagers or experienced players."

Jia said that he had made plans for a three-phase training camp ahead of the playoff.

"The players will have several days off after the league ends. Then we will have the first training session at Xianghe national training center near Beijing, mainly for recovery. The second phase will be a one-month camp focusing on honing techniques and tactics. In the third phase, we will warm up on home turf for the game," he said.

Jia added that his team would play several warm-up matches with foreign women's football teams or local U-17 men's teams ahead of the playoff.

He also revealed a plan to invite psychiatrists to help his team cope with the challenges.

Jia's team went through an unexpected quarantine amid the COVID-19 concerns during the Olympic qualifiers last February before entering the playoff.

"We have shown that we can do our best in the face of the worst conditions," he said. "We have confidence of beating South Korea." Enditem

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