Rampant China deliver goal feast
'I told them we had to go for the win, we had to go for goals' - Haan
China made qualification for the knockout stage of the Asian Cup a virtual formality by thrashing 10-man Indonesia 5-0 at the Workers' Stadium last night, a mauling that Arie Haan had privately predicted the day before the game.
'I said we'd score four, maybe six,' he admitted. 'I had seen their team and I know my team. I told them we had to go for the win, we had to go for goals.'
The match was a personal triumph for 1860 Munich striker Shao Jiayi, who is back in his home town after a year-long struggle to recover from a serious knee injury.
The 24-year-old star former Beijing Guo'an star scored twice and set up the another, before leaving the field to a standing ovation in the 64th minute. 'He's getting better,' said Haan of Shao, who still hasn't played a full match since undergoing surgery. 'This was a very good game for his confidence.'
Shao had set China in the right direction after just 24 minutes when he side-footed Li Jinyu's left-wing cross into the roof of the net from close range. Moments later, Indonesia defender Alexander Pulalo was dismissed for his second yellow-card offence.
'It's very sad for us,' said Indonesia's Bulgarian coach Ivan Kolev. 'Playing with 10 men against a team like China, there's nothing you can do.'
There was not much Indonesia could do to stop Shao, who set up the second for Hao Haidong for a diving header in the 41st minute.
Unfortunately in the closing minutes of the half the talismanic Hao was the victim of an ugly challenge from Firmansyah Agus, which should have been a penalty, but instead forced the 34-year-old out of the match.
Afterwards assistant coach Theo de Jong revealed that the Dalian player-coach had suffered both knee and ankle injuries in the challenge and that while it was too early to know the full extent, it certainly appeared that the star striker would face some time out of action.
Li Ming was credited with the third goal, five minutes into the second period, when Hendro Kartiko palmed the Dalian player's corner straight into his own net. Shao then volleyed home his second and China's fourth with the outside of his left foot from the edge of the box in the 64th minute, while substitute Li Yi made it five with a header into the top corner 10 minutes from time to send the crowd in ecstasy.
'Everything fell into place,' said assistant coach Theo de Jong. 'The group [of players] was there and they wanted to show their quality. The fans were behind the team and that is necessary. The players gave something back.'
Earlier, Bahrain found a last-minute equaliser to hold Qatar 1-1.
As they had done against China in their opening game, Bahrain got the result they deserved, this time thanks to an injury-time header from Mohamed Hubail.
Qatar, who sacked their French coach Philippe Troussier after losing their opener to Indonesia, didn't deserve to be in front. Particularly as their 58th-minute penalty, converted by Wesam Rizik, appeared dubious to say the least.
Seyd Bechir was brought down inside the area by what appeared to be a well-timed challenge from Hassan Al Mosawi. Japanese referee Kamikawa Toru pointed to the spot and Rizik converted.
Bahrain appeared headed for defeat, until, in added time, captain Mohamed Juma sent in a long hopeful ball and Hubail's looping header found the net.