Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Rio Olympics 2016 Women's Football: ‘Steel Roses’ wants to win medal in Rio, go as deep as possible in knockout stages

China women's team captain Li Dongna

(Photo : Getty Images) The Chinese women’s national football team are eyeing loftier goals after advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics women’s football tournament.

The Chinese women's national football team are eyeing loftier goals after advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics women's football tournament following their goalless draw with Sweden in the final round of group competitions.

Xinhuanet reported that China, nicknamed as "Steel Roses" in international women's football because of their second place finishes during the 1996 Olympic Games and the 1999 World Cup, are "dreaming bigger" in Brazil as they face Group F runners-up Germany at the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on Friday.

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"We were absent from the opening ceremony. We want to stay longer to attend the closing ceremony," team captain Li Dongna said in an interview. "We've achieved our goal (of reaching the quarterfinals) for the tournament. Our endeavor has paid off. If we defeat Germany in the quarterfinals, I would be wild with joy."

The report noted that the present crop of players that head coach Bruno Bini is leading have had a difficult path to arrive at where they are right now.

The team had 650 days of "hard training" before they beat the Netherlands, 1-0, in the recent Women's World Cup and then reached the final eight in Canada last year. Former head coach Hao Wei also resigned from his post in this same month last year after losing three consecutive times in the 2015 EAFF Women's East Asian Cup.

But those setbacks did not deter the Chinese women from moving forward.

The arrival of Bini said to have brought newfound hope in the Chinese XI as he has "united the team under the slogan 'Together', and developed a strategy system with tactics emphasizing passing and ball control".

"We've came this far. We want to win no matter how strong our opponent is," said Li. "We don't have much advantage over Germany, but anything could happen."

China drew with Sweden, 0-0, at the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasília on Tuesday to capture the second spot of the Group E table, propelling them to the quarterfinals of this summer's Olympic tournament, as per NBC Olympics.

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