Thu, Mar 19, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan advance with 2-0 win in Brunei

‘OUR SECRET WEAPON’:Taiwan needed at least two goals to go through. Turkey-born Onur Dogan vowed to score goal No. 2 if kept on field, and he delivered

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Onur Dogan, front left, scores against Brunei in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifier second leg in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Football Association

Taiwan advanced to the group stage of 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian qualification by netting two goals either side of halftime to beat Brunei 2-0 on Tuesday.

Needing to score at least twice to overcome their 0-1 loss in the first leg, Taiwan got the job done against the hosts at Bandar Seri Begawan’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium.

In the 37th minute, captain and midfield general Chen Po-liang headed a corner-kick to defender Wang Ruei, who volleyed the ball across the goal and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

In the second half, Taiwan got the crucial second goal in the 53rd minute off a throw-in on the righthand side. Forward Chen Hao-wei received the throw and beat a defender before finding striker Onur Dogan, a naturalized Taiwanese through marriage who goes by the Chinese name Chu En-le.

The Turkey-born striker made no mistake, sending his header past helpless Brunei goalkeeper Wardun Mohd Yussof for the vital second goal.

It was Dogan’s first goal for the national team.

After defending the lead the rest of the way, the visiting players and coaching staff celebrated the hard-earned victory at the final whistle.

Dogan, who plays for Taipei City Tatung in the Inter City League, said that he was elated and that the win had very special meaning for him because it was his first goal for Taiwan in a crucial World Cup qualification match.

“During rest at halftime, I begged our head coach to keep me on for the second half. I promised him that I would score a goal for the team, and I did it,” he said at the post-game press conference.

Head coach Chen Kuei-jen made several changes to the starting XI and the defensive 4-2-3-1 formation he used in the first leg as he looked to overturn the 0-1 home defeat on Thursday last week at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung.

He elected to go with a more attacking 4-4-2 formation, with Onur Dogan and Chen Hao-wei as the two strikers, and Chen Po-liang marshaling the midfield.

Another crucial change was veteran goalkeeper Lu Kun-chi between the posts, replacing the relatively inexperienced Chiu Yu-hung.

Chiu was blamed for the 0-1 loss in the first leg after letting in a soft goal from a high, long-range lob.

Chen Kuei-jen praised Dogan’s performance.

“He is our secret weapon; we had him under wraps away from the opposition’s scouts. His ability as a striker and feel for a goal is the best of all the players in the squad,” Chen said. “So when he asked to remain on the pitch as we were seeking a second goal, the coaching staff and I had no doubt about keeping him in the game, because we needed his goal-scoring prowess inside the penalty area.”

The match broke a scoring drought dating back to October last year, with Taiwan only netting once in their previous five matches.

Taiwan next advance to the group stage, where they will be drawn in one of eight groups of five teams, with the possibility of facing heavyweights Japan, South Korea or Asian champions Australia.

The draw takes place in Kuala Lumpur on April 14.

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