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Lippi: China PR's focus firmly on next stage

Guangzhou: Marcello Lippi is keeping his sights trained on a place in the next round of the Asian Qualifiers after seeing his side notch up a second straight win on Thursday with a 7-0 victory over Guam at Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou.

Yang Xu scored four and there were also goals from Wu Lei, Wu Xi and Elkeson as China PR followed up their 5-0 win over the Maldives last month by claiming another comfortable three points on the road to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

China now lead Group A alongside Syria with six points out of a possible six and next face the Philippines in Bacolod on Tuesday.

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“We won the three points in this game,” said the Italian World Cup winner. “Our goal is to advance to the final 12 and it has been since the first game, whether that is when the players are training or when they are competing.

“We were very dedicated, defensively compact and we took up a lot of offensive positions. The players performed well and, even though our opponents weren’t very strong, they still played well.

“What needs to be improved sometimes is the quality of the final ball.”

China never looked in danger of being on the end of an upset, with Yang scoring his first in the sixth minute before Wu Lei doubled the lead with a fine run and finish. Yang scored three more by the time the game had reached the 31st minute and China took a six-goal lead into the break when Wu Xi headed home in injury time.

With one eye on their next game, the Chinese eased back in the second half and it took until 15 minutes from time before Elkeson scored his third goal in two games since becoming eligible to play for his adopted nation.

“The most important thing was to win because a lot of fans talked before the game about how many goals we would score,” said Wu Lei. “But for us to win we have to be confident so we can advance.

“Everyone’s goal is to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, so in every game we will do our best. Everyone is paying me a lot of attention and I hope that by playing in Europe I can help the national team.”

Photos: IC Photo

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