Marcello Lippi bests Sven-Goran Eriksson as China cruise past Philippines
Two goals for Wu Lei helped the Asian giants through to the knockout round of the Asian Cup in Abu Dhabi
China booked their passage to the knockout round of the Asian Cup after a 3-0 triumph over tournament debutantes Philippines at the Mohamed bin Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Wu Lei scored on either side of half-time before substitute Yu Dabao headed a corner 10 minutes from time for Marcello Lippi’s side to complete their second win in Group C.
Lei curled in a shot to the far corner of the net for China to go in at the break with the lead. He doubled it with a volley on 66 minutes, both from the crosses of Hao Junmin from the right flank.
China were on the offensive from the onset. They enjoyed both possession and territorial advantage but the Philippines were dangerous on the counter attack and created the best scoring chance in the first quarter.
Javier Patino was too slow when set up inside the area by John Strauss, his effort smothered by the China centre-back Zang Linpeng.
China’s real chance of taking the lead was Wu Xi’s header off a long ball from Hao Junmin which fell agonisingly wide of the far post but they didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock.
Xi set up Junmin down the right flank for a cross, and Lei, unmarked inside the area, had enough time to curl to judge his shot to perfection over the Philippines goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard.
Lei would have doubled the lead, if not for an excellent save from Falkesgaard, who punched away a close-range volley from the forward six minutes into the second half.
Falkesgaard also denied Lei a hat-trick. The China striker exchanged passes with Yu Hanchao but his effort from close range was blocked by the Philippines keeper.
The result left Sven Goran Eriksson’s side winless after two games. They face Kyrgyzstan in their final group match at the Rashid stadium in Dubai, while China meet South Korea at the Al Nahyan stadium in Abu Dhabi, both on Wednesday.
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