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By ESPN Staff

China split with Petrovic after World Cup flop

BEIJING, July 4 (Reuters) - China have not renewed coach Vladimir Petrovic's contract after their failure in 2010 Worldb Cup qualifying, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Friday.

'Elimination from the World Cup left me very sad but I have had many (positive) emotions which I appreciate,' the Serb was quoted as saying on the AFC's website.553637

'The time I have had here was too short to change anything and maybe I could have done better if I had enough time.'

China, who reached the 2002 World Cup finals, were dumped out at the third round stage one game early after securing just three points and scoring only two goals in their first five matches.

Petrovic accepted responsibility for the failure, but angry fans pinned the blame on national soccer chiefs, chanting 'sack! sack! sack!' after their 2-1 defeat by Iraq on June 14.

Their 1-0 win away to Australia in a dead rubber on June 26 was not enough to save Petrovic, who was China's coach of the year when he steered Dalian Shide to the league and cup double in 2005.

An official from China's soccer federation told Reuters no announcement had been made but confirmed that Petrovic's contract had expired on Thursday.

The Serb did not attend Thursday's Asian Cup qualifying in Doha.

China, twice runners-up in the Asian Cup, were drawn in Group D with Vietnam, Syria and Lebanon in the qualifiers for the 2011 competition.

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