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Chinese Head Coach Zhu Set to Quit after Shock Exit
    2007-07-19 19:30:52     Xinhua

Chinese head coach Zhu Guanghu gives instructions to his players during a match against Uzbekistan in the group C Asian Football Cup 2007 match at the Shah Alam stadium in Kuala Lumpur. Zhu's men were humbled 3-0 by Uzbekistan as China failed to reach the knock-out phase for the first since 1980, ramping up pressure on the beleaguered coach who was reportedly told to reach the semis "or else." [Photo: AFP/Karim Jaafar]

China coach Zhu Guanghu is set to step down after his team crashed out of the Asian Cup quarter-finals following a humiliating 0-3 defeat to Uzbekistan.

It is the worst performance for the Chinese team at the Asian Cup in 27 years.

Chinese fans, like times in the past, were again broken-hearted after the match, in which a tie would ensure a knock-out stage berth for China.

Zhu, who apologized to the fans after the match, looked to be on his way out, but he vowed not to leave football.

"I am the one responsible for the result and I am very sorry for the fans but I hope that in the future, the players can learn from this," he said at a news conference on Wednesday.

"I will not leave football," he noted.

Xie Yalong, vice chairman of Chinese Football Association, declined to make it clear whether Zhu will be replaced.

"We will sum all these up and find the problems......I will not disclose our arrangement (concerning Zhu) now, but we will make these arrangement soon," Xie told reporters.

But many people believed it is a mere matter of time for Zhu to step down to take the blame for the poor performance of the team.

Before the tournament, Zhu made it clear his aim was to reach the semifinals. He emphasized before the crucial clash with Uzbekistan that the aim would not be changed.

But the Chinese team was flooded by criticism for its poorest performance even in its warming-ups to the Asian Cup including a stunning 0-1 defeat to Thailand.

China played well in its opening match, defeating co-host Malaysia 5-1 followed by an acceptable 2-2 draw with Iran.



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