2008-07-29 23:06:31 GMT 2008-07-30 07:06:31 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
Li Weifeng (C) of Chinese Men's Olympic football squad blocks the ball during a friendly match against Serbian Men's Olympic football squad in Changchun, northeast China's Jilin Province, July 29, 2008. The match ended 0-0. (Xinhua Photo)
CHANGCHUN, Northeast China, July 29 (Xinhua) -- China played a goalless draw with Serbia in their last warm-up match for the Beijing Olympic Games here on Tuesday.
China played aggressively from the start and created a melee in front of the Serbian goal in the 9th minute with a few passes, but midfielder Zhao Xuri failed to score.
Captain and playmaker Zheng Zhi was yellow-carded after tackling down midfielder Gulan of Serbia in the 12th minute.
The speedy Serbs threatened the Chinese goal several times with counterattack but were unable to make their efforts count.
The tit-for-tat lasted till the end of the first half and in thesecond half, China replaced forwards Han Peng with Cui Peng and GaoLin with Manchester United's Dong Fangzhuo in a bid to sharpen the offensiveness.
Cui launched a right-foot volley off the far post 11 minutes after he was sent on, which greatly improved the host team's morale. China started to dominate the match but was too unfortunate to break the deadlock.
China's best moment came four minutes before the end of the match, when substitute Zhu Ting dribbled the ball and sent a pinpoint cross to Zhao Xuri, who shot beyond the crossbar.
"The cooperation in China's attacking line isn't very smooth. The lack of killing touch has always been our shortcoming," said Yin Tiesheng, coach of the Chinese team. "We are now physically prepared and in the last few days we will try to be better in tactics and strategies."
The midfield maestro Zheng Zhi was sent off in the second half, raising doubt on whether the Chalton Athletic midfield is in perfect shape to compete. "Zheng was replaced because he has shown signs of fatigue in the training. We can't risk to add new sores to his old lower-back injury," Yin said.
"Zheng may have made a few mistakes in attacking today but he did a good job in defence," he added.
Despite losing the game, Serbia coach Miroslav Djukic was satisfied with his side's performance.
"The game is as intense as a formal one during the Olympics as both sides fought hard to score. Our players are very aggressive and they had a few chances in the first half, but in the second half their physical condition was not so good because they have not adjusted to the new environment here," the 32-year-old coach said.
The Chinese Olympic squad have wrapped up all four warm-ups on home soil, with three wins and one draw. The team will play Brazil,New Zealand and Belgium from Aug. 7 in Group C in northeastern cityof Shenyang. Serbia will fight against defending champions Argentina as well as Australia and Cote d'Ivoire for a berth in theknockout stage.