China bids farewell to world cup despite a 4-0 win
Updated: 2011-11-16 09:35
China's Liu Jianye (L) challenges Singapore's Firdaus Idros during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Singapore, Nov 15, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
SINGAPORE - Former Asian champion Iraq's two goals ended China's slim hopes of advancing despite a crushing 4-0 away win over Singapore in the fifth round of the World Cup Asian zone qualifiers on Tuesday.
Iraq, coached by Brazilian great Zico, reached the fourth round with 12 points after the two goals from Nashat Akram in Group A, level with Jordan who booked their fourth round place on Friday.
The match kicked off with both teams scoring no goals in the first 40 minutes. China's midfield Yu Hai managed to capitalize on the many opportunities and break the deadlock in the 43rd minute amid a crowd of cheering Chinese football fans who made it look like a match hosted by China.
Captain Li Weifeng, a 33 year-old central defender that has been favored by head coach Jose Antonio Camacho, headed in the second for China ten minutes into the second half.
Fullback Zheng Zheng added two goals to make the final score 4-0 after Chinese midfielder Huang Bowen was sent off with a red card for getting angry over a Singapore player's defensive action and trying to hit him.
Camacho admitted that the victory "came too late" for a Chinese team that has been trying to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
China's players (white) engage in a heated exchange with the Singapore team after a red card was given to China's Huang Bowen (unseen) during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Singapore Nov 15, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
However, he insisted that the first half of the game was exactly like that of the previous two matches played against Jordan and Iraq in which the Chinese team had control over the game.
"The first half of the game was like the games against Iraq and Jordan but we scored first this time," Camacho said after the match.
The Spaniard denied it was because the Chinese players had had no pressure so that they can show their best game.
Singapore assistant coach V. Sundromoorthy said his team also had chances but failed to score any goals in the first half. "Anything can happen after that," he said.
Sundromoorthy also agreed that the Chinese team was "technically good" but was unlucky to lose any chances of advancing to the next round.
China now has six points after five matches. Iraq will play against Jordan in the other match of the group later on Tuesday. Iraq would advance to the next stage so long as earning one point in the last two matches against Jordan and Singapore.
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