AFC Asian Cup: Philippines 0-3 China – Wu Lei double fires Marcello Lippi’s side in group C

  • Yu Dabao also gets on the scoresheet as China romp to their second victory of the tournament and virtually seal a place in the knockout round
PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2019, 11:45pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 January, 2019, 4:22am

Star striker Wu Lei fired a brilliant double as China beat the Philippines 3-0 on Friday to virtually assure their place in the last 16 of the Asian Cup.

Marcello Lippi emerged victorious against old foe Sven-Goran Eriksson in a heavyweight coaching clash despite spirited early resistance from the Filipino Azkals (Street Dogs) in Abu Dhabi.

China, runners-up in 1984 and 2004, improved to six points from two games in group C after beating Kyrgyzstan 2-1 in their opening game.

They should have led after 32 minutes when Wu Xi headed wastefully wide from point-blank range.

But Wu Lei provided the spark five minutes before half-time, turning on the edge of the box and whipping a right-foot shot into the far corner.

His second was even better as he swivelled to slam a Hao Junmin free kick past goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard on the volley after 66 minutes to effectively finish the tie.

Substitute Yu Dabao added a third with his first touch 10 minutes from time.

Pulverised 8-1 the last time the teams met in 2017, the Philippines gave China more of a game this time, having lost 1-0 to South Korea on their Asian Cup debut earlier this week.

Kevin Ingreso forced a fingertip save from China goalkeeper Yan Junling in first-half stoppage time but Eriksson’s faded badly after the break.

A victory for South Korea over Kyrgyzstan later on Friday would guarantee China’s progress as they look to improve on a quarter-final finish in 2015.

China are set to complete their group stage campaign against regional rivals Korea Republic on Wednesday, while the Philippines will face Kyrgyz Republic on the same day in Dubai.