Wed, Dec 06, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan beat Laos, claim CTFA17 title

CLOSE SHAVE:English-Taiwanese substitute Will Donkin nearly scored his first goal for Taiwan when his free-kick from just outside the penalty area hit the Laos crossbar

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Li Mao, right, scores against Laos in their CTFA17 International Tournament match at the Taipei Municipal Stadium yesterday.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

Striker Li Mao yesterday fired Taiwan ahead with an early brace and the hosts held on to seal a 2-0 victory over Laos at the Taipei Municipal Stadium.

The victory saw the hosts make it three wins out of three to claim the trophy at the CTFA17 International Tournament.

Li was the key player for Taiwan in the competition, as he also scored two headed goals in the hosts’ opener as they beat the Philippines 3-0 on Sunday.

Taiwan yesterday set out with attacking intentions and kept up the pressure on the Laos defense throughout the contest, while goalkeeper Pan Wen-chieh kept a clean sheet by making several crucial saves.

In the ninth minute, captain Chen Po-liang intercepted an errant pass and drove toward the Laos penalty area, finding midfielder Yu Chia-yuang.

Yu was tackled as he was about to pull the trigger, but the ball fell to Li, who swept home his third goal of the tournament.

Three minutes later, midfielder Su De-cai crossed into the penalty area from the right and Li hit a first-time shot to extend Taiwan’s lead.

London-born English-Taiwanese substitute Will Donkin, who plays for the academy of English Premier League side Crystal Palace, also put in an outstanding performance and was a constant threat throughout the second half.

Donkin impressed the fans with his vision and poise as he created numerous chances for his teammates.

In the 70th minute, Donkin nearly scored his first goal for Taiwan when he hit a free-kick from just outside the penalty area eluded Laos goalkeeper Outthilath Nammakhoth, but hit the crossbar.

Striker Li continued his forays forward in search of a hat-trick and he almost got past the defense after a pass by midfielder Wen Chih-hao in the 84th minute, but a Laos defender brought him down and the referee waved play on, judging it to be a clean tackle.

After the game, Taiwan’s players and coaches paraded around the stadium for several minutes in a victory lap to applaud the fans.

In yesterday’s earlier match, East Timor battled hard against the Philippines and were rewarded with a late strike by Garcia da Silva to prevail 1-0.

It was East Timor’s only victory of the tournament, and the players and coaches were delighted with what was considered an upset win.

All three visiting teams finished the tournament with 1-2 record.

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