A solitary goal from substitute Xu Deen saw last
year's runners-up China overcome newcomers Australia 1-0 in their opening Group
B match in the AFC Youth Championship at the Salt Lake stadium on Monday.
Xu Deen of Chinese soccer team
celebrates his goal aganist Australia during their opening Group B match
in the AFC Youth Championship at the Salt Lake stadium
A 65th minute flick by midfielder Hao Junmin caught the Australian defence
offguard and an unmarked Xu Deen, who replaced Huang Bowen in the 52nd minute,
tapped the ball in easily.
Billed as the 'clash of the titans' looked a tame affair in the first half as
both the teams were busy in midfield exchanges almost throughout the first half,
save a few moves. China got two half chances before the break but defender Zhao
Ming and midfielder Yu Hai failed to capitalise on them.
In the 29th minute, Yu Hai's attempt on a thorough ball from striker Wang
Yongpo hit the side net while Zhao header on a cross from Hao Junmin went off
Australia coordinated well after the restart and earned their first corner in
the 53rd minute but in vain. Aussie forward David Williams once went close but
his efforts were thwarted by Chinese goalkeeper Wang Dalei. In the 62nd minute
he scraped past defender Liu Jianye but his shot from the right was blocked by
China could have doubled their lead in the 75th minute but Wang Yongpo
freekick just went wide.
In the 84th minute David Williams had a golden opportunity to equalise when
he jetted past his defender on a back pass but before he could connect,
goalkeeper Dalei headed the ball to safety.