25 Mar '11, 10am

China begins quest for <b>2014 World Cup</b>

BEIJING - CHINA begins its long qualification march to the 2014 Brazil World Cup in bizarre fashion on Friday, with the national team splitting into two sides to play three friendlies in the coming week. Team A will play New Zealand on Friday night in the city of Wuhan and later face Honduras there on Tuesday, while head coach Gao Hongbo is already in Costa Rica to lead Team B in a match against that country on Sunday. The double-teaming comes after Gao invited a total of 40 players to train for the national side ahead of World Cup 2014 qualifying, which begins in late June. In China's first and only appearance in a World Cup final in 2002, the team failed to win a match or even score during the event, jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea. Their failure to reach the knockout stages of the 2011 Asian Cup in Doha two months ago further deepened fan frustration over the in...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Sport/Story/STIS...

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