Li Mao yesterday starred for Taiwan in their opening match of the CTFA17 International Tournament at the Taipei Municipal Stadium as the hosts defeated the Philippines 3-0.
Taiwan scored a hat-trick of headers, with Li grabbing a brace, as they convincingly saw off probably the strongest of the other three teams in the tournament.
However, there were some nervous moments for the home crowd in the fourth minute when Angel Guirado put the ball in the net for the visitors, only for his effort to be ruled out after the assistant referee flagged that the ball crossed the byline before being pulled back.
Photo courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Football Association
Li’s breakthrough came in the 38th minute, when his header from a free-kick gave Philippine goalkeeper Nicholas O’Donnell no chance.
He had a chance to double the lead four minutes later, but his shot was handily saved by an outrushing O’Donnell.
In the 53rd minute, the Philippines had the ball in the net again, but the effort was once more ruled out, this time for offside.
Li then doubled Taiwan’s lead in the 63rd minute when he headed in Yu Chia-huang’s cross from the right.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men four minutes later when Guirado was shown a red card for deliberately elbowing Chen Yi-wei.
Chen Ting-yang wrapped up the victory in the 81st minute when he got in front of his marker to head home substitute Will Donkin’s corner from the left.
Yu had a chance to add a fourth in stoppage-time, but he failed to convert Donkin’s cross from the edge of the six-yard box.
In the earlier match, Laos defeated nine-man East Timor 2-1.
Laos took the lead in the third minute when Nonmany Chiu converted a penalty, before Natphasouk Soukchinda added a second in the 41st minute.
Cruz Henrique scored a consolation for East Timor in the 84th minute after his side was reduced to nine men following red cards for both Trindade Avelino and Oliveira Filipe in the second half.
Taiwan will next face East Timor at 7pm today at the Taipei Municipal Stadium.
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