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Men's soccer team eye knockouts after crucial win

08-16-2011 08:48 BJT

The Chinese men's football team seems promising to advance into the knockout stage after beating Colombia 3-0 in a group game last night.

Fan Zhiqiang (2nd R) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal against
Colombia during the men's group stage soccer game at the 26th Summer Universiade in
Shenzhen, Aug 14, 2011. [Photo/sports.sina.com]

The host team started with the same 11 players as those in the Namibia game last Thursday, adhering to the identical formation 4-4-2.

Jin Zhiyang (R), the head coach of the Chinese men's Universiade football team, and the
Chinese captain Lu Bin (L), who gets treated after a head injury, attend a press conference
after the team's 3-0 victory over Colombia during the men's group stage soccer game at the
26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, Aug 14, 2011. [Photo by Wang
Qingyun/chinadaily.com.cn]

Midfielder Fan Zhiqiang from Tianjin Normal University, also a player of Chinese Super League team Tianjin Teda, and who recently was lifted from a two-year suspension for being involved in a chasing-referee scandal, got a penalty kick award for his team and scored twice, leading China over the rival.

At the 30th minute, Fan was fouled by a Colombian defender while trying to score a goal and the Chinese team was awarded a penalty kick. Captain Lu Bin did not disappoint the enthusiastic home fans and stepped up to convert the penalty into the net to open the scoring.

In the last minute of the first half, Colombia's forward Castro Betancur broke through China's defense and made a powerful shot, but was blocked by goalie Liu Tianxin.

Colombia made two substitutions and became more offensive at the beginning of the second half, but the Chinese Fan extended the lead to 2-0 by scoring in the 68th minute, leaving local fans chanting "3 to 0", before he broke through Colombian defenders and thrusted another goal in the 82nd minute.

China's head coach Jin Zhiyang said in a news conference after the game that the team had tried its best, though the players don't have techniques as good as their Colombian counterparts.

Colombian head coach Zapata Avendano congratulated China's victory, and mentioned the difference of styles between the two teams, indicating that Colombia didn't adapt well to China's fast pace.

Jin also said the team had learnt a lesson from the last game, and his young players were more aware of preserving strengths throughout the game. He thanked the media and fans for supporting the team, and hoped "China's football will keep getting better."

 


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