SPORTS

Greek win drives China

hina is looking to Euro 2004 winners Greece for inspiration to spur them to Asian Cup glory. With Dutch maestro Arie Haan at the helm, the host nation believes it can go all the way, upsetting the odds the way Greece did with their spectacular performance in Portugal to claim their first major trophy. «Past history has proved that China can beat any strong Asian team on its own soil,» said Haan. Shao Jiayi, one of the few Chinese players to successfully make the switch to European soccer, said the outstanding and gritty performance by Greece was a key motivator for China. «This year I sense an unprecedented good atmosphere within the team,» said the Munich 1860 midfield star. «Everyone could see the reason Greece made such a brilliant impression at Euro 2004 was the united spirit they have. I think we can also achieve a remarkable performance in the Asian Cup.» On three other occasions China has reached the last four and lost. The competition kicked off Saturday and ends on August 7. (AFP)