Sat, Mar 21, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan under-23s facing Socceroos in Kaohsiung

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Wang Ruei, right, celebrates scoring against Brunei with teammate Onur Dogan in their FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Football Association

Taiwanese soccer fans have more international action to look forward to, with both the men’s under-23s and the women’s national squad taking on visiting teams in Kaohsiung and Taipei in the coming weeks.

In Group F of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) under-23 qualifiers, Taiwan are hosting Australia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, with all the matches being played at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung starting on Friday next week.

Six players from the squad that defeated Brunei 2-0 in FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifying on Tuesday are eligible for under-23 duty — Wang Ruei (scorer of the first goal in Brunei), Wen Chih-hao, Ko Yu-ting, Chen Chao-an, Lin Che-ting and second-choice goalkeeper Chiu Yu-hung — and they are to report for training next week

In the opening matches on Friday next week, Australia are due to take on Hong Kong at 4pm, before Taiwan face Myanmar at 7pm.

A big crowd is expected the following Sunday when Taiwan go up against Australia at 7pm after Myanmar take on Hong Kong at 4pm.

The final matches on March 31 see Australia take on Myanmar and Taiwan face Hong Kong.

Taiwan under-23 head coach Chang Wu-yeh said the key to qualifying will be the game against Myanmar.

“We must go all-out to pick up a win. Then after that against Hong Kong, we should also need a good performance to get a victory,” Chang said.

He admitted Australia are the favorites, so Taiwan are likely to play a more defensive formation to avert a heavy defeat.

“The team has trained to use different formations and tactics depending on the opposition. For this tournament, we must rely on teamwork, because if we count on individual battles in one-on-one situations, then we have little chance of winning,” Chang said.

The Asian qualifiers for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro began last night with the Mulan women’s national team defeating Laos 4-0 at the Taipei Municipal Stadium.

Laos next face Iran tomorrow, while Taiwan take on Iran on Tuesday, with all the matches kicking off at 7pm.

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