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China hammer Malaysia 4-0 in World Cup qualifier
Updated: 2004-06-10 08:50

Chinese legendary veteran striker Hao Haidong wrote another chapter in his extraordinary soccer career when he scored the first goal to lead China to 4-0 win over Malaysia in Tianjin of North China on Wednesday.

This is China's third straight victory in 2006 World Cup qualifiers, which reinforced China's top place in the Asian Zone group four.

China started well and showed plenty of enthusiasm, but squandered a hatful of scoring chances before Hao's powerful low shot in the penalty area breaking the ice in 42nd minute.

The Dalian striker put the home side ahead after Shandong midfielder Li Xiaopeng's 30- meter shot was blocked by a Malaysian defender who just gifted Hao a wonderful chance to score.

In the second half, China imposed Malaysia a 13-minute nightmare spell by netting the visitors three times.

China's Sun Jihai fights for the ball during the World Cup qualifying match in Tianjin, June 9, 2004. China beat Malaysia 4-0.[Xinhua]

Jihai, English premier league Manchester City defender, added the second goal by cashing in Malaysian goalkeeper Mohamad Syamsuri's slight clumsy parry with a low dipping shot in the 62th minute. He then left the pitch for sustaining an ankle sprain.

Just several minutes later, Li Xiaopeng expanded China's advantage to 3-0 with a header from Zheng Bing's accurate air pass.He converted a spot kick in the 75th minute to seal the victory.

The Chinese national squad were far from impressive this year before today's game with narrow 1-0 wins over Kuwait and Hong Kongof China in their first two World Cup qualifying matches.

Chinese football fans celebrate the victory over Malaysia in Tianjin June 9.[Xinhua]

On a recent tour of Europe, China were held a goalless draw withminnows Andorra and were thrashed 6-0 by Spanish first division league runners-up Barcelona before scraping a 1-0 win over Algeria.

Coached by Arie Haan, the Chinese team clinched a 2-1 win over visiting Hungary led by German legend Lothar Matthaus last week ina warm-up game of World Cup qualifiers for both sides. That victory was a bolster of confidence for China.

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