China's Asian Cup reject Li makes a point with 100th goal

Updated: 2007-06-21 13:36

BEIJING - Li Jinyu, controversially left out of China's Asian Cup squad, became the first player to score 100 goals in the Chinese top flight on Wednesday.

The striker equalised with a header after 67 minutes and reached his milestone by scrambling the ball home under a heavy challenge four minutes from time as Shandong Luneng won 3-1 at Zhejiang Lucheng.

The 29-year-old, who scored 26 league goals last season and has bagged seven more so far this year, was omitted from China's squad because coach Zhu Guanghu felt he was out of form.

"I'm sorry I'm missing out on the Asian Cup finals," Li told local media.

"I played for Zhu for two and a half years, I don't believe I'm not as good as players who joined the national squad two and a half weeks ago.

"I think 100 goals is persuasive."

In May, Li scored his 97th goal to pass former Dalian striker Hao Haidong as the top scorer in the 13-year history of the top flight of professional soccer in China.

Shandong's victory, combined with a 3-1 defeat for Changchun Yatai at Wuhan, put the champions back on top of the Chinese Super League on goal difference after 13 rounds of the season.

Dalian Shide's sacking of their general manager on Monday failed to have the desired effect and they dropped to fifth after a goalless draw with Liaoning.

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