China soared to victory for a second time, serving up a 7-0 thrashing against Iran in Mumbai to secure their spot in the Women’s Asian Cup quarter-finals. The Steel Roses returned to the scene of Thursday’s 4-0 win over Taiwan eager to build on their fast start, and they quickly assumed control against a hapless Iranian defence. Star player Wang Shuang set an early tone for China on Sunday, threatening several times before opening the score in the 28th minute with a perfectly directed left-footed effort from the edge of the box to celebrate her 27th birthday in style. From there it was largely smooth sailing for the women’s squad, with team captain Wang Shanshan upping the earlier intensity with two stinging goals of her own. Tottenham forward Tang Jiali proved valuable throughout the second half, finding the net with the swerving effort 15 minutes after her introduction as a substitute, before a spectacular second goal in the 82nd minute. There were some moments of brilliance for Iran, helped by dynamic teenage striker Negin Zandi who’s second-half stint gave her team a much-needed boost. Their cause suffered a significant blow when Melika Motevalli clumsily fouled Chinese substitute Li Mengwen, with Wang Shuang easily beating Koudaei from the penalty spot to make the points all but safe in the 49th minute. The perfect birthday gift 🎁 😍 🇨🇳 Wang Shuang gifts herself 2️⃣ goals on her birthday as China steer past Iran in #WAC2022 Group A! pic.twitter.com/ZDH9Mduguo — #WAC2022 (@afcasiancup) January 23, 2022 Meanwhile, tournament hosts India have withdrawn from their own competition after a Covid-19 outbreak in the squad prevented the team from playing their Group A game against Taiwan on Sunday. India failed to name the required minimum of 13 players and were unable to participate in the match. Their match against China on Wednesday has also been scrapped. It will come as a blow for India, who are hosting the event for the first time since 1989. Indian soccer federation president Praful Patel said the players were “heartbroken”. “We are as disappointed as probably the entire nation would be right now with this unwarranted situation,” Patel said in a Twitter post. “However, the players’ health and well-being are of paramount importance to us & it cannot be compromised under any circumstances.” The AFC said the tournament would continue as scheduled and Wednesday’s match between Iran and Taiwan will now serve as an eliminator for a place in the quarter-finals.