China must not lose to Denmark in FIFA Women's World Cup, says coach

BEIJING -- China will have no chance of qualifying for the knockout stage of next year's FIFA Women's World Cup if they lose to Denmark in their first group match, said head coach Shui Qingxia.

Shui said her side will play tough games in the group stage after being drawn alongside England, Denmark and the winner of play-off tournament Group B, which includes Chile, Haiti and Senegal.

"There are two European teams in our group, they are stronger than my team. There is a wide gap between them and my team," she said.

"What an unfortunate coincidence that we were drawn into the same group with them," she said.

Shui noted that China's first group game against Denmark will be decisive in their attempt to advance to the next stage.

"If we lose this match, then our chances of progressing are practically over. So we must be very well prepared," she said.

According to the World Cup schedule, China will face Denmark on July 22, 2023 in Perth, Australia.

Shui said China would hold a training camp in early December after the Chinese Women's Super League campaign concludes.

"It will be a big challenge to work on my players' fitness, we need to work out a detailed plan," she said. 

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