Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
China PR qualified for the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship knockout stage, defeating final eight hopefuls Lebanon 6-0 in a match they rarely looked like losing.
Li Jingjing’s first half double set the East Asians on their way, before four Chinese second half goals put the destination of the three competition points beyond doubt.
Hu Jie’s side will have their ticket to Wednesday’s quarter-finals stamped as early as tonight if Bahrain fails to defeat Jordan in Group B’s late kick-off, while Lebanon’s defeat confirms that they will not progress beyond the group stage.
Lebanon entered the game at Bangkok Arena full of optimism after their encouraging showing against 2015 finalists Japan, but their hopes suffered an early blow when Li Jinging gave China the lead with a clever back-heel in the third minute.
Maroun El Khoury’s side responded, forcing Zhang Meini into saves from Rayane Rachid, Nancy Tchaylian and Natahlie Matar in quick succession, before China created a number of chances of their own.
Captain Wang Ting was denied twice by Nathaline Gilinguirian’s fingertips, but the Lebanese shot-stopper was beaten in the final minute of the half as China took command of the contest with a 2-0 lead.
Gilinguirian reached, but couldn’t hold Li Yingqing’s well-struck cross from just inside the corner spot, allowing Li Jinging to help the loose ball over the line from two metres for her second of the match and third of the tournament.