Taiwan Steel on Sunday took sole possession of the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League standings for the first time this season after a 9-2 thrashing of Taipower in a title showdown in which man-of-the-match Marc Fenelus scored four goals and provided two assists.
In a match billed as the season’s key battle between the league’s two leading teams, both on 36 points, Taipower’s players wilted under the pressure and got blown away by an outstanding display from Taiwan Steel, who cruised to their ninth consecutive victory.
Taiwan Steel opened the scoring within five minutes in the rain in Taoyuan when attacking midfielder Yu Chia-huang latched on to a cross from Haitian forward Astama and volleyed past Taipower goalkeeper Chiu Yu-hung.
Photo courtesy of the CTFA
Turks and Caicos Islands striker Fenelus doubled their lead four minutes later, going past two Taipower defenders and Chiu to fire in the second goal.
With the Taipower defense guilty of poor marking and misplaced tackles, Astama added a third with a glancing header in the 14th minute after a cross supplied by captain Wu Chun-ching.
Wu fired a fourth into the top corner as the half-hour mark approached and 10 minutes later Fenelus grabbed his second when his long-range shot deflected in off a Taipower defender as Taiwan Steel reached halftime with a commanding 5-0 lead.
There was no respite for Taipower when the second half started as Chiu dropped the ball from a corner and Astama blasted the sixth, before Fenelus completed his hat-trick as another long-range shot was deflected over Chiu’s head for the seventh.
Taiwan Steel added two more late in the game, including a fourth for Fenelus.
Tseng Chih-wei scored two late consolation goals for Taipower.
“We knew that Taipower have experienced players and are good at controlling the ball, so early on we focused on running at them in quick counterattacks. After we got the early goals, Taipower had to push up into our half, which stretched their defense and gave us more scoring opportunities,” Taiwan Steel captain Wu said.
In Sunday’s other matches, South Korean striker Joo Ik-seong scored late to lead Taichung Futuro to a 1-0 victory over Hang Yang and move them level with Taipower on 36 points, three behind the leaders.
Tatung trounced the Red Lions 4-0, while National Taiwan University of Sport defeated Ming Chuan University 2-0.
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