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Thursday, 13 June, 2002, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
China coach says farewell
China coach Bora Milutinovic
Milutinovic feels China will learn from experience
China coach Bora Milutinovic has stepped down after his team finished their World Cup finals campaign with their third defeat running, losing 3-0 to Turkey on Thursday.

The result left China without a goal in their first appearance in the finals. Milutinovic's 18-month contract with the Chinese was due to run out after the competition.

The 57-year-old Serbian said: "Now I am finished with the Chinese team. I was very happy to work with them.

Open Quote
I'm happy with the way we played, and the fighting spirit shown by our players
Close Quote
Bora Milutinovic
China coach

"Now I need a rest and will see what is my future," he said after the Turkey game.

Milutinovic, who has also taken Mexico, Costa Rica, the USA and Nigeria to the World Cup, said: "If I retire, I am going to die."

But he declined to say if he had any job offers.

"When you lose, no one offers you nothing," he joked.

"If somebody has interest, OK, if no interest, OK." Milutinovic said he was proud of his team's performance in their last match under his charge.

China went down 3-0 to Turkey in Seoul and will go home without a point or a goal.

"I'm happy with the way we played, and the fighting spirit shown by our players," he said.

"I think that was our best game in the World Cup. Our team is very young. China have a future."

The Serb had led China to their first ever World Cup but will now leave his post.

"They have learned a lot from playing here," said Milutinovic, who has guided five teams to the World Cup finals.

"It was good to make the first step to the finals. It would have been nice to have got the second step."

He admitted that China's chances of getting anything out of their final Group C match had vanished early in the game.

"When you go 2-0 down after 10 minutes, it's almost impossible.

"To have to play the second half with 10 players was very difficult for us," he added.


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 SQUAD PROFILES
GROUP C
  P GD PTS
BRAZIL 3 +8 9
TURKEY 3 +2 4
COSTA RICA 3 -1 4
CHINA 3 -9 0




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