Taiwan last night fought back with an outstanding team effort to seal a 4-2 win against Mongolia in their international friendly at the Taipei Municipal Stadium.
It was the first outing with Englishman Gary White in charge of the national squad, as well as his coaching team of fellow Britons: assistant coach Louis Lancaster, goalkeeping coach David Rouse and newly arrived fitness coach Scott Pearce.
White and his assistants will have their work cut out for them to prepare the team for the upcoming Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup Group E home-leg qualifier against Bahrain at the Taipei Municipal Stadium, as Taiwan need to overturn a five-point deficit from the away game in Bahrain last month.
Yesterday, fans had barely settled in their seats when Mongolia surprised the hosts with a quick counterattack in the fourth minute.
Attacking midfielder Tsagaantsooj Munkh-Erdene found space between two defenders to receive a cross from the right side and scuffed the ball, which bounced past Taiwan goalkeeper Pan Wen-chieh into the net.
It was shocking for visitors to take the early 1-0 lead, but seemed to awaken the hosts, who put in a more energetic display in search of goals.
Captain Chen Po-liang thought he had scored in the 17th minute, when he connected for a header on a corner-kick, but the ball hit the upright and was cleared by the Mongolia defense.
On the half-hour mark, Onur Dogan, a Turkish-born naturalized Republic of China citizen, broke through on the left side into the opposition box, but his shot was blocked by Mongolia’s goalkeeper.
The hosts were rewarded with the equalizer in the 41st minute, when Dogan made a short pass in front of the box to attacking midfielder Chen Hao-wei, who fired it into the net, leaving both sides entering the intermission at 1-1.
Taiwan started the second half with more purpose, pushing into the Mongolia side to create good opportunities.
In the 52nd minute, Dogan caused a goalmouth scramble and crossed it to Chen Po-liang, who lashed the ball home for the hosts’ second goal.
Four minutes later, Chen Hao-wei was tackled in the opposition box and the referee awarded the hosts a spot-kick, which Chen Po-liang converted for a 3-1 lead.
Mongolia striker Naranbold Nyam-Osor made Taiwan’s defense pay for an errant pass, blasting a shot into the net to make it 3-2 in the 75th minute.
Four minutes from time, Taiwan substitute Jiang Sin-long collected a cross and scored with his first shot for the hosts, securing the 4-2 victory.
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