China's Head Coach Jia Sets a Minimum Target of Knockout Stage at Women's World Cup

December 10, 2018  Editor: Liu Yang

Jia Xiuquan, head coach of the Chinese women's football team, told Xinhua on December 9 that his team should take the knockout stage as its minimum target for the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019.

China is placed in Group B along with two-time winners Germany, Spain and South Africa at the most prestigious women's football tournament.

"We are still behind Germany and Spain," admitted Jia, while emphasizing that "the gap can be narrowed and we have possibilities of beating them".

"There is no so-called superiority or inferiority in the draw. All 24 teams have their reasons to appear on the World Cup stage and can be quite competitive. That's why I was not exposed to any emotion after the draw.

"We just need to focus on ourselves. That's the most important. Of course, we have to make full preparation for every group opponent," said Jia.

"Firstly, we expect to march through the group phase. After that, marching every step further is without doubt better. We hope to make into the top eight or top four, but that can be expected only through our hard work.

"Maybe we can achieve that, maybe not. Everything is about our hard work and training," he added.

One day after featuring at the tournament's draw, Jia watched Chinese player Wang Shuang's performance from the stands of the Stade Robert Bobin, located on the outskirts of the French capital.

Wang was involved in all three goals in her club Paris Saint-Germain's 3-1 victory over city rival Paris FC.

"They should take advantage of Wang's strong side in a better way. Wang is a playmaker, who is quite crucial to a team. Wang also needs to maximize her advantage in skill and awareness," Jia pointed out.

Jia thought that Wang still needs time to incorporate into the team and should play in a more confident manner.

The Chinese team has arrived in Australia for their preparation ahead of the World Cup to kick off next June.

"We need to consolidate our styles and characters through a series of matches and training at this stage," said Jia, who will depart from France on Monday to reunite with his team.

The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup will be played in nine cities across France from June 7 to July 7.

(Source: Xinhua)

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