China down DPR Korea 2-1 to cruise to last eight with 9 points

 

 

 

A Chinese girl waits for the group B match between China and the Democratic People’s Republic

of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia, on January 18, 2015.   Photo by Cao Can

 

Young Chinese fans wave a flag while waiting for the group B match between China and the

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia, on January 18,

2015.   Photo by Cao Can

 

Players of China line up for a team photo before the start of their group B match between China

and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia,

on January 18, 2015.   Photo by Guo Yong

 

 

 

CANBERRA |   2015-01-18 16:12:29

 

Starting lineup of China vs DPR Korea at Asian Cup

By Zheng Daojin and Xu Haijing

Following is the starting lineup of China against DPR Korea at the last round Group B match.

Goalkeeper:  Wang Dalei

Defenders:  Jiang Zhipeng, Mei Fan, Zhang Linpeng, Zhang Chengdong

Midfielders:  Zheng Zhi, Cai Huikang, Yu Hai, Hao Junmin, Sun Ke

Forward:  Gao Lin

 

 

 

 

 

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Zhang Chengdong (left) of China fights for the ball with So Hyon-uk of the Democratic People’s

Republic of Korea (DPRK) during a group B match between China and DPRK of the AFC Asian 

Cup in Canberra, Australia, on January 18, 2015.    Photo by Qin Qing 

 

Yu Hai (right) of China fights for the ball with Pak Song-chol of DPRK during a group B match

between China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra,

Australia, on January 18, 2015.   Photo by Guo Yong 

 

Jiang Zhipeng of China fights for the ball during a group B match between China and the

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia,

on January 18, 2015.   Photo by Cao Can

 

Ro Hak-su (left) of DPRK jumps for the ball during a group B match between China and

the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia,

on January 18, 2015.   Photo by  Qin Qing 

 

Sun Ke of China is injured during a group B match between China and the Democratic People’s

Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia, on January 18, 2015.  

Photo by Cao Can

 

China’s head coach Alain Perrin (right) reacts during a group B match between China and the

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia, on January 18,

2015.   Photo by Guo Yong

 

China’s head coach Alain Perrin (right) reacts during a group B match between China and the

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia, on January 18,

2015.   Photo by Cao Can

 

Mei Fang (left) of China fights for the ball with Jong Il-gwan of DPRK during a group B match

between China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra,

Australia, on January 18, 2015.   Photo by Cao Can

 

Sun Ke of China scores his second goal during a group B match between China and the Democratic

People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia, on January 18, 2015.

China won 2-1.   Photo by Qin Qing

 

 

 

CANBERRA  |  2015-01-18 19:16:36

 

China down DPR Korea 2-1

to cruise to last eight with 9 points

 

 

By Zheng Daojin and Xu Haijing

 

 

Midfielder Sun Ke scored twice to help China beat DPR Korea 2-1 and advance to the knockout stage with a best-ever three stragight wins as Group B leaders at the AFC Asian Cup before tens of thousands of Chinese fans here on Sunday of January 18.

China will challenge host Australia, runners-up of Group A, at the quarter-finals in Brisbane on January 22.

Sun Ke, who scored the crucial winner in China’s 2-1 victory over Uzbekistan, continued his heroic performance tonight at the nearly fully packed Canberra Stadium where most of the spectators are supporters of China. Sun quickfired in less than one minute after kickoff with a nice outstep stab inside the penalty area after Korean defender Jang Song Hyok made an error in clearing Jiang Zhipeng’s long pass.

Sun doubled the advantage for China on 42 minutes with a diving header at the far past following Jiang Zhipeng’s well-curved left wing cross. It’s his third goal of the tournament and the 25-year-old attacker can compete for the golden boot prize of the tournament. Now Jordan’s Hamza Al Dardour leads the scoring table with his four goals in Jordan’s 5-1 crush over Palestine. If Sun could do more in their quarter-final clash with Australia, he may catch or surpass Al Dardour’s record.

The Koreans pulled one back in the 57th minute. Midfielder Jong Il Gwan rounded Jiang Zhipeng after receiving Pak Kwang Ryong’s left wing center at the far post and his low drive was wrongly cleared by the Chinese defenders on the goal line, the ball bounced back to the empty net after Zhang Linpeng slided it to hit striker Gao Lin. Jong could have levelled the score if his dipping header two minutes later following Ro Hak Su’s cross went a little bit lower. And the lively attacker missed another at the beginning of the second half when his bullet shot was parried by a focused keeper Wang Dalei.

China coach Alain Perrin brought on most of his major lineup for the game, although China have secured the top place after two victories over Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan, and the Frenchman’s players controlled the first half with much more possession and threats. Left winger Yu Hai’s smart lobbing shot in a tight angle before the end of the break seemed to be goal-bound, but a Korean defender headed the ball out timely on the goal line.

However, in the second half, DPR Korea rallied and lauched some fierce attacks to test their rivals defence, substitute forward So Hyon Uk nearly levelled in the 82nd minute with a powerful half-volley rattling the crossbar at the edge of the box. Sim Hyon Jin also missed a good opportunity two minutes later. So came close again in injury time with another header to be parried by Wang Dalei. The Koreans showed their courage and attacking ability, but the finishing was not accuate enough to change the result. The Koreans finally ranked the fourth at Group B after three consecutive defeats.

 

 

 

 

Wang Dalei, the goalkeeper of China, gestures to spectators after a group B match between China

and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia,

on January 18, 2015. China won 2-1.    Photo by Qin Qing

 

Sun Ke (left) of China celebrates during a group B match between China and the Democratic

People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia, on January 18, 2015.

China won 2-1.   Photo by Cao Can

 

Sun Ke (left) of China celebrates during a group B match between China and the Democratic

People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia, on January 18, 2015.

China won 2-1.   Photo by Cao Can

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sun Ke of China celebrates scoring during a group B match between China and the Democratic

People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra, Australia, on January 18, 2015.

China won 2-1.   Photo by Cao Can

 

 

 

MELBOURNE  |  2015-01-18 20:36:58

 

Sun Ke double extends

China’s winning run in Asian Cup

 

By Riley Beveridge

 

 

Sun Ke of China celebrates scoring during a group B match between China and

the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra,

Australia, on January 18, 2015.   China won 2-1.   Photo by Qin Qing

 

 

China ensured they would enter the knockout phases of the Asian Cup full of confidence following a 2-1 victory over DPR Korea in Canberra on Sunday of January 18.

Despite having already sealed their place in the quarterfinals, China put in a professional display and went ahead within the first minute through Sun Ke.

He would finish the half with two goals, giving Alain Perrin’s side a crucial advantage, before a Gao Lin own goal gave DPR Korea hope.

But, amid an abundance of pressure, China held firm, ending the group stages with three straight wins.

Uzbekistan joined them in the final eight, holding off the challenge of Saudi Arabia and recording a 3-1 win in Melbourne.

Sardor Rashidov notched a brace, while Vokhid Shodiev also found the target as the Uzbeks overcame a poor refereeing decision, which enabled Mohammed Al Sahlawi to score from the penalty spot.

It was a frantic evening of action in the Asian Cup, with early goals in both games.

China, in the midst of a purple patch and with top spot in Group B already secured, took the lead against DPR Korea within a minute.

Sun was the beneficiary of some sloppy defending from Jang Song-Hyok, prodding home from close range to open the scoring.

There was a similar story unfolding in Melbourne.

Uzbekistan, needing a victory to progress to the next round, also got off to the perfect start after just 90 seconds. Rashidov capitalized on a fortuitous break and calmly slid the ball beyond Waleed Abdullah to make it 1-0.

That lead should have been extended just moments later when Uzbekistan’s Shukhrat Mukhammadiev took a clever touch past his marker before lashing a volley narrowly wide from a promising position.

In the nation’s capital, despite China dominating possession, DPR Korea was slowly starting to work their way back into the contest. Pak Kwang-Ryong shot wide, before Jong Il-Gwan blazed well over the bar when through on goal.

It would prove a costly miss for DPR Korea, with China immediately going up the other end and doubling their advantage. Sun was again the scorer, this time nodding home following Jiang Zhipeng’s cross.

It delighted the sell-out crowd in Canberra, packed full of joyful Chinese supporters.

It could, and perhaps should have been 3-0 prior to half time for China. However, Jon Kwang-Ik came to DPR Korea’s rescue, clearing Yu Hai’s shot off the line.

As it stood at the break, Uzbekistan would join China in progressing through to the quarterfinals in Group B. But Saudi Arabia was desperate to avoid being sent home early.

Naif Hazazi skied a decent chance well over the bar from the edge of the area, before Vitaliy Denisov brought the striker to ground inside the area.

A harsh penalty was awarded, with Al Sahlawi finding the bottom corner, despite the Uzbek keeper diving the right way.

In Canberra, DPR Korea was also hopeful of salvaging something from their match, with Jong forcing Wang Dalei into a good save from 20 yards out.

Eventually, their positive attitude paid dividends. Jong’s shot cannoned off Gao and in for an own goal, as the underdogs halved the deficit and ensured an exciting finale.

Jong was wreaking havoc for DPR Korea and nearly inspired an equalizing goal. He headed over with the goal at his mercy, before Ryang Yong-Gi shot over from distance.

Substitute So Hyon-Uk then cannoned a shot against the crossbar, as DPR Korea desperately came again.

But, despite their flurry of late chances, they couldn’t find a levelling goal and ended the tournament without a point, as China’s winning run continued.

There was also late drama in Melbourne, as Uzbekistan ensured they would not live to rue that earlier error from Australian referee Ben Williams.

Second-half substitute Shodiev came to Uzbekistan’s rescue, powerfully heading home from Shavkat Jon Mulladjanov’s pinpoint cross to reclaim the lead.

With Saudi Arabia pushing men forward in the knowledge that a draw would guarantee progression, Uzbekistan broke forward and doubled their lead.

Jasur Khasanov led the counter attack, before squaring for Rashidov in space. The winger took one touch and buried his shot into the bottom corner to the glee of the vocal Uzbek supporters.

“As we expected, it was a very tough game. Both teams wanted to qualify,” Uzbekistan manager Mirjalol Kasimov told reporters after the match. However, he would not be drawn on the contentious refereeing decision.

“I did not see the penalty decision,” he said. “I will make my final decision when I see the video.

“I saw that the Saudis kept asking for a penalty, so maybe it was the mistake of the referee, but I don’t know.

“Many times, the Saudi Arabian players dived and they should have had yellow cards. When they dived, they pressured the referee and the referee started to play for them.”

Rashidov’s second goal would prove enough, as Uzbekistan booked a quarterfinal clash with South Korea in Melbourne, while Saudi Arabia bowed out.

“It’s not a tragedy,” Saudi Arabian manager Cosmin Olaroiu said after the match. “It’s disappointing, but it’s not a tragedy.

“People have to see and judge the situation to start to make changes and build something very solid. Many clubs from Saudi Arabia have improved and I hope, in the future, (the country) finds the players they deserve.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CANBERRA  |   2015-01-18 20:44:16 

 

Chinese head coach says

key players vital for the team

 

By Xu Haijing and Liu Ning

 

 

China’s head coach Alain Perrin reacts during a group B match between China

and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of the AFC Asian Cup in Canberra,

Australia, on January 18, 2015. China won 2-1.   Photo by Guo Yong

 

 

Head coach of the Chinese national football team Alain Perrin admitted at a post match press conference on Sunday that key players like team captain Zheng Zhi play a vital role in China’s victory.

China beat Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) 2-1 at Canberra Stadium.

China was in a 2-0 lead by half time. However, the performance of team China became less impressive as that of the first half after Zheng was replaced by Yun Hanchao at the beginning of the second half.

While admitting the importance of the organization by Zheng and his experience to the team, Perrin insisted that it was the fierce attacks by the opponents that put the Chinese team in trouble during the second half.

“We all noticed that without the key players in the pitch, there has been much trouble in the organization and control in the mid-field. We need to go back to analyse that. The rich experience of the key players has been helpful to the team. Without them, the team will have difficulties,” Perrin said.

He said Zheng was replaced because he told Perrin there has been a minor injury in his back, which Perrin was sure won’t cause trouble to the team in its next match against host team Australia.

“We will devote all we have to fight Australia,” he said.

Perrin said Chinese players have one day less for recovery and they have to spend another day traveling from Canberra to Brisbane for the quarterfinal match on Thursday.

He also complained about the pitch at the Brisbane stadium.

“We’ve played on the pitch and we know about it. We also watched the game between Australia and South Korea today. We don’t think the pitch is good enough. It’s a pity that we have to play there. But this is the game.”

Both the coach and the players are aware that their next match against the Socceroos will be tough.

“Australia is a strong team and a host team as well. There will be definitely difficulties in next match. We just need to do what we have to do and concentrate on the details of the match. Then we will stand even if we are beaten,” said Sun Ke, who was awarded Player of the Match.

Perrin was satisfied with the performance of Sun, saying he is a versatile player who can play by both feet.

Perrin admitted that the team is still lack of aggressive attackers like Sun. He would design a formation which would allow more attacking players to shoot and goal.

Sun has scored three times in different styles and ranks second in the top scorers standing after Hamza Al Dardour of Jordan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA  |  2015-01-18 21:04:58

 

DPRK coach laments on

lack of luck at Asian Cup

 

By Xu Haijiang and Liu Ning

 

Head coach of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) soccer team Jo Tong-sop said his side played better in the second half and it was a lack of luck that the team failed to manage a score.

“I planned at the beginning that we will use the last 10 to 15 minutes with the substitutes because at the time our main players would not be strong or fit enough,” Jo said.

“It worked well but we are lack of luck,” he added.

DPRK lost to China 2-1 and will be leaving the Asian Cup without achieving a victory at the group stage.

As for the secret of a better second half, Jo said he told players during half time to concentrate more on the defending.

“Once we got the ball, we had to be more responsible for passings and organizing and making the game tougher (for the Chinese). We should do our best to do this and that motivated the players more and their mental concentration increased more.”

“Our match were not satisfactory. I think this is a very valuable experience for the whole team and also those waiting at home are not very happy. But the experience will encourage the team for better performance in the future.”

He expected the Asian Cup trip will enrich the team with new experience and enable a better performance in the 2018 World Cup qualifications later this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BEIJING  |   2015-01-18 16:38:21

 

Chinese media focus on

quarters clash

while Australia eyes Japan

 

 

By Wang Chunyan and Yao Youming

 

 

With China yet to play its last AFC Asian Cup Group B match against DPR Korea, Chinese media have begun to discuss its prospect of winning the quarterfinal clash with host nation Australia.

China, which has secured a slot in the quarter-finals after beating Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan earlier in the group stage, faces DPR Korea in Canberra later on Sunday of January 18.

Hours before the kickoff of the China vs DPR Korea game, few reports about the game could be seen on Chinese internet, which instead are full of comments on China’s next match against Australia on Jan. 22.

According to a poll by Sina.com, the leading portal in China, over 40 percent of Chinese Internet users believe that China could beat Australia to make the semifinals. And about a quarter of the 7,636 surveyed predict that China will be eliminated before the semifinal stage.

Another portal site, Netease, quoted former Chinese international Fan Zhiyi as saying that China should be more confident ahead of the Australia match.

“Team China is no longer what it used to be. I think we can hold Australia at bay,” said Fan.

In stark contrast, the Australian media are optimistic about the home team’s passage to the semifinals.

The Australia Broadcasting Corporation said: “Australia’s second-place finish means it will likely play Group B leaders China in the last eight, but opens up the prospect of facing rivals Japan in the semifinals if the hosts get through.”

Australia is hunting its first Asian Cup title from three tournaments since switching to the Asian confederation. Australia was runner-up in 2011 Asian Cup.

 

 

 

 

 

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Massimo Luongo (right) of Australia celebrates his goal with Tim Cahill (L) during the opening

football match against Kuwait at the AFC Asian Cup in Melbourne, Australia, on January 9, 2015.

Australia won 4-1.   Photo by Qin Qing

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY  |  2015-01-19 09:55:53

 

Tim Cahill: China to feel in “quicksand” against Socceroo

By Patrick Whiteley

 

China will feel they are like playing in “quicksand” when they take on Australia in Thursday’s Asian Cup quarter-final, Australian striker Tim Cahill said on Monday of January 19.

Australia were beaten 1-0 by South Korea on Saturday, but Cahill believes his team will be fighting fit against an in-form China, who won all their three group matches.

“For me, the main focus was driving forward and making them feel like they’re in quicksand,” Cahill told Fairfax Media.

In the game against South Korea, Cahill was rested at the start, but later joined fellow striker Tomi Juric toward the end of the game.

It was the first time the two played together for the national team and together with impact players like Mathew Leckie and Robbie Kruse, the key attackers pose a major threat to China.

“If Krusey scores, I score, Tomi scores, it would have been genius,” he said reflecting on the game against South Korea.

“It’s unfortunate not to get the result but … we did really penetrate them and moved the ball well on occasions, but if we don ‘t score then obviously it’s going to look worse than it is.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BEIJING  |   2015-01-20 10:46:19

 

Former Jiangsu coach hopes

China carry on surprise run

 

By Wang Chunyan, Yao Youming and Zheng Xin

 

Serbian Dragan Okuka hopes that the Chinese team can keep on their surprisingly good run at the 2015 Asian Cup.

China recorded the best opening in its Asian Cup history as the team won all three group matches. They face hosts Australia in the quarterfinals on Thursday of January 22.

Former Jiangsu Shuntian coach Okuka admitted that he was “impressed” watching the Chinese team play.

“Every championship always has somebody who makes big surprise, maybe this time it’s China to make the surprise,” Okuka said in English.

One of Okuka’s former proteges, Sun Ke from Jiangsu Shuntian, became a huge star with three goals at this tournament. Okuka was full of praise for Sun and the other five Jiangsu players in the national team.

“They are very good players, now making good career playing for national team,” said the 60-year-old.

Okuka is confident that Sun is good enough to pursue a career in Europe.

“It is not only good for Sun himself, but also good for the Chinese national team,” Okuka said.

Okuka suggested more Chinese players play overseas like Zhang Xizhe, the new signing of German Bundesliga club Wolfsburg, as “it has been a long time since last Chinese played abroad.”

Okuka coached Jiangsu for three years since 2011 and moved to another Chinese Super League team Changchun Yatai in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

BLOG EDITOR :  MIAO HONG

 

 

 

 

 

 

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