Taiwan on Thursday were routed 4-0 by China in the opening match of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Mumbai, India, while the hosts lacked a cutting edge in front of goal in their 0-0 draw with debutants Iran.
Taiwan midfielder Lai Li-chin told reporters that China are a very strong team and Taiwan’s defense was not strong enough, but her team had learned some valuable lessons.
“As for the next two games, we hope to put all our effort into winning them so we can advance to the next World Cup,” Lin said of the side’s matches against India tomorrow and Iran on Wednesday at the tournament that also doubles as the continent’s qualifier for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
China have not won the Asian Cup since 2006, but Shui Qingxia’s side made the perfect start in their opening game in Group A at the Mumbai Football Arena.
Wang Shuang’s brace bookended a convincing performance from her team, the former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder putting China ahead from the penalty spot with less than three minutes on the clock.
Zhang Linyan had been bundled over inside the penalty area just 90 seconds into the game by Pan Yen-hsin and referee Abirami Naidu pointed to the spot.
Wang coolly rolled the ball into the corner, sending goalkeeper Cheng Ssu-yu the wrong way.
Within a further six minutes Shui’s side had doubled their lead when Wang Shanshan met Gao Chen’s cross from the right, her header going in off the inside of the post.
Nine minutes into the second half China claimed a third with Wang Shuang providing the pass that allowed Zhang Xin to find space behind the Taiwan defense before stroking her effort home.
Zhang returned the favor 14 minutes later when her cross from the left was somehow missed by four defenders and Wang Shuang kept her head to score.
Taiwan are appearing in the tournament for the first time in 14 years. They are three-time Asian champions, having won the title in 1977, 1979 and 1981.
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