Printer Friendly and PDF

Chonburi: A last gasp equaliser from China PR’s Tang Han salvaged a crucial point in a superb 2-2 draw against Korea Republic in the opening match of the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2017 on Sunday.

Second-half goals by Korea Republic’s Hwang Ahn-yeon and Kim Bit-na looked to have cancelled out Zhang Linyan's (pictured below, left) early strike, but Tang scored with the last kick of the game to ensure her team a share of the points in Chonburi.

Korea Republic had the better of the opening exchanges, controlling the lion’s share of early possession before their opponents settled and began to find their own passing range.

It was China PR who took the lead when Zhang Linyan coolly cut through the Korean defence before unleashing a superb right-foot shot into the top corner of Kang Ji-yeon’s net, to score a goal worthy of opening any tournament in the 11th minute.

The Chinese side remained in control and had the ball in the net less than a minute into the second-half, only to see the goal ruled out for an infringement.

Korea Republic, meanwhile, had toiled without reward for 59 minutes, but the game swung in a single moment when Hwang dramatically brought the teams level.

Collecting the ball on the left flank, and seemingly out of shooting range, Hwang produced a curling long-range effort that left Chinese goalkeeper Wang Yu helpless as it flew into the net and gave Hur Jung-jae’s side a way back into the contest.

They pressed on in search of another goal and found it through Kim in the 68th minute, when the substitute hit the upright with her first attempt, before retrieving the ball and blasting it home from close range. 

China PR poured forward in search of the equaliser, and came close through midfielders Ou Yiyao and Shen Mengyu, but it was lively forward Tang who finally found the crucial goal, stroking the ball beyond goalkeeper Kang in the dying seconds of the match.

Hur Jung-Jae: Head Coach, Korea Republic

I believe our players couldn’t show 100 per cent (of their capabilities). I’m a little bit frustrated. You can concede a goal at any time of the game, and that’s part of football. Tonight it came in the last moment.”

Gao Hong: Head Coach, China PR

“I think our players really played with their hearts. The first half was tough, usually we try to play possession football but it was a rough half. I think it would have been a little unfair if we had lost tonight, but fortunately we got that late goal. We will work on possession football, that’s our way to goal."

Photos: AFC