Sun, Oct 09, 2016 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan defeat Timor in AFC qualifier

WU BRACE:Taiwan striker Wu Chun-ching scored twice for Taiwan, who were not technically the hosts, because Timor-Liste did not have a stadium available at home

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Wu Chun-ching, right, vies for the ball during their game against Timor-Leste at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung last night.

Photo: Lin Tsung-wei, Taipei Times

Taiwan defeated Timor-Leste 2-1 to win the first round of their two-match AFC Asia Cup qualifier series at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung last night, with in-form striker Wu Chun-ching grabbing a brace.

The match started a flurry of action at either end, with Timor-Leste going ahead inside five minutes and the hosts equalizing two minutes later.

Wu netted his second goal in the 38th minute, and despite plenty of opportunities, neither team could score in the second half, handing Taiwan the advantage heading into the return leg on Tuesday.

Both matches are to take place in Kaohsiung, as Timor-Leste gave up hosting rights with their national stadium under construction. Yesterday’s game was regarded as a home match for Timor-Leste.

There was some doubts about the condition of the pitch, with rain around for most of the afternoon. However, it eased by the time the game began.

Taiwan head coach Satoshi Imai started with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Wu the lone striker.

The players initially found it difficult to control the ball and the moisture slowed the passing game.

Timor-Leste striker Rufino Gama opened the scoring, receiving a pass in front of goal and faking out a defender with a delayed pump to send a low shot past goalkeeper Pan Wen-chieh.

However, Taiwan’s attacking midfield trio found a chance to break down the opposition defense.

Wu collected a pass just inside the box and he sent a volley out of goalkeeper Ramos Maxanchesto’s reach to level the scores.

Both sides mounted forays into the opposition zone throughout the first half and as the match proceeded, Taiwan were the more dangerous side, with passing combinations opening up the game and pushing the attack into the opposition area.

They were rewarded in the 38th minute, with Chen Po-liang knocking down a header to fellow midfielder Wen Chih-hao, who rounded the defense on the left side. Wen fed a low cross into the box, where Wu redirected the ball with a flick to seize the lead.

Timor-Leste thought they had an equalizer with the ball in the goal just before halftime, but the referee had signaled offside.

Both teams maintained their attacking mindset in the second half, but squandered several chances in front of goal.

In the second game, Taiwan are the home team. Kick-off is scheduled for 7pm at the National Stadium.

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