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MD3 - Group A: China PR 7-0 Guam

Guangzhou: Yang Xu scored four first half goals as China PR brushed aside the challenge of Guam at the Tianhe Stadium on Thursday as Marcello Lippi’s side notched a 7-0 victory in Group A of the Asian Qualifiers.

The win was China’s second in a row in Group A following a 5-0 win over Maldives in their opening game last month and ensures the Lippi-coached side go into Tuesday’s meeting with the Philippines in Bacolod with a perfect record as they continue their bid to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

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China took the lead with fewer than six minutes on the clock, with Yang claiming his first of the night when he fired high into the net after a cutback from the bye-line by Wang Gang was directed into the forward’s path by the sprawling Sean Evans.

The Chinese had to wait another 10 minutes before extending their lead, with Wu Lei scoring the second after dancing through the Guam defence and smashing the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

Yang headed Wang’s cross home three minutes later to seal China’s third and, in the 24th minute, the Tianjin Tianhai striker caught Evans napping when he pinched the ball off the Guam goalkeeper’s toe before slotting into an empty net to complete his hat-trick.

Despite being four goals ahead with little more than a quarter of the game played, China continued to push for more.

Yang added his fourth a shade after the half hour mark following Wu Lei’s darting run to the touchline, with the Espanyol attacker’s pullback leaving the centre-forward with an easy finish.

In first half injury time Jiangsu Suning midfielder Wu Xi nodded Wang’s clipped ball beyond Evan’s outstretched right hand to leave the home side in total command.

After a goal-filled first half, it took until 15 minutes from time for China to add their seventh, with Elkeson putting his name on the scoresheet when he netted from close range after Shawn Nicklaw had kept Yang’s initial effort out on the goal line.

Evans was on hand to deny the Chinese an eighth in the dying minutes when he did well to push Zhang Xizhe’s long range effort to safety while Li Shuai’s late attempt cannoned back off the cross bar as the hosts ran out comfortable winners.

Photos: IC Photo

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