China won't play safe against Uzbekistan

July 18, 2007

BEIJING, July 18 (Reuters) - China coach Zhu Guanghu has dismissed talk of playing for a draw in his team's final Asian Cup Group match against Uzbekistan on Wednesday.

'Our idea has always been to fight our opponents for victory. It remains the same for this match,' Wednesday's Beijing Times quoted Zhu as saying. 'We are ready to deal with the difficulties.'

China captain Zheng Zhi and midfielder Li Weifeng are suspended and goalkeeper Li Leilei has pulled out with a foot injury.

'We are going to have a new squad and formation, but injuries or suspensions will not affect our game,' Zhu said.

China, who lead Group C by goal difference from Iran on four points, only need to draw with Uzbekistan to reach the quarter-finals.

'China is facing a critical fight to get to the next stage,' Zhu said, adding that China's goal of a semi-final berth remained unchanged.