A quick note, the draw for the 3rd Round of Asian Qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa took place today and China was drawn in the "Group of Death." China will be stuck going up against Australia as well as the defending Asian Cup champions, Iraq. Rounding out the group is a strong Qatar side.
The Chinese FA is looking a bit bruised right now, considering the men failed to get out of the group stages in the Asian Cup and the women couldn't get past the Quarterfinals despite home field advantage in the World Cup. Vladimir Petrovic, the coach appointed after the Asian Cup debacle, is certainly going to have an uphill battle to get China into the World Cup. Only the top 2 teams in each group advance to the next round of qualifying, so China's in for a real battle. Perhaps the difficulty of the group will cause the always high expectations to be lowered a bit, but there is no reason why China shouldn't be able to get past this group, though this is the sort of thing you hear from Chinese soccer fans all the time, right before another disaster takes place.
The only other very interesting tidbit from the draw was that North and South Korea were drawn in the same group, those will certainly be two very exciting matches!