BEIJING, Oct 29 (Reuters) General manager Ratomir Dujkovic was furious with his players despite China's 4-0 defeat of Myanmar that saw them through to the third round of Asian qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
After a 7-0 first-leg victory in China last week, progression was never in question but Dujkovic said some of his players did not deserve a place in the team on the basis of their performance after halftime.
''I can't understand this match,'' the Serb, who recently added responsibility for overseeing the senior team to his Olympic squad duties, told China's Soccer News yesterday.
''Some players did really badly. They may even lose their places in the national team.'' Dujkovic's compatriot Vladimir Petrovic, coach of the senior squad, said Wuhan midfielder Zheng Bin and other unnamed older players would pay the price for easing up.
''It is dangerous to have such an attitude when playing against strong teams,'' he said.
''But I'm confident we'll get through the upcoming group stage. I can see the hope for China's World Cup campaign.'' China have a regional ranking of 10th that allows them to go straight into the third round of qualifying, where big guns Japan, South Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Australia join the competition.
Soccer in China has been in the doldrums since the national team qualified for the World Cup finals for the first, and to date, only time in 2002.
Yessterday's match was played on neutral ground in Kuala Lumpur because of last month's violent crackdown by Myanmar's military rulers on protesting Buddhist monks.
REUTERS TB KP1013