Doha (Qatar), August 29: Chinese international midfielder Zhang Xizhe said Saturday that the upcoming final round of the FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualifiers is "the best opportunity for our generation".
"It's the best opportunity for our generation to qualify for the World Cup. All of us will go all out in every game," the 30-year-old told reporters following a training session in Doha.
"About half of the Chinese team had the experience of playing in the final round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, so we understand how things are going and we are more confident," he noted.
China has been drawn against Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Oman in the final round of Asian qualifying tournament. The top two teams will qualify directly, with the third-place finisher entering play-offs.
"The final round will be harder than the previous rounds as the opponents are stronger, so we need to improve our pace and tempo through daily training," said Zhang.
China will kick off its final round campaign next Thursday against Australia, who announced a 27-man roster on Saturday, with 26 being overseas-based players including Chinese Super League side Shanghai Port's Aaron Mooy.
"Many Australian players play in major European Leagues and they play quick football. We are familiar with Mooy. I'm sure he will also share his thoughts about our team with his teammates," said the Beijing Guoan star.
The Chinese team arrived in Doha on Thursday. Zhang said they have overcome the jet lag and is adapting to the hot and humid weather.
The former Wolfsburg player also praised the high quality training pitch in Qatar University, which is built for next year's World Cup finals.
"It's very flat and the ball moves fast. It's very helpful for us to improve our training," he said.
Source: Xinhua