Rejuvenated Zhang Xin aiming to fire China to Olympic final
Shanghai: Retiring at 25, returning at 27, and, all being well, an Olympian at 29. This is the amazing story of Zhang Xin, an in-form midfielder for China PR and Shanghai Agricultural and Commercial Bank FC.
Zhang announced an unexpected retirement from the game in 2017, shortly after she helped Shanghai win gold in that year's National Games. With fans and media left lamenting the disappointing decision which seemingly brought a promising career to an abrupt and premature end, the Shanghai-born player, now a mother, stunned even her own supporters by making a comeback in early 2019.
"I returned to playing probably because my life belongs to the football pitch," the 29-year-old told FIFA.com. "[After getting married and giving birth to a baby] I found I still love football so much. The game brings tremendous joy to me."
Asian Qualifiers - Group D: Saudi Arabia defeat Yemen to widen lead
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia took all three points in an emphatic 3-0 win against Yemen in Group D of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Saturday.
Saudi Arabia went into this game looking for a third consecutive win to further consolidate their grip at the top of the group, and they duly delivered in expert fashion as the game was put to bed in the first half with relative ease.
Asian Qualifiers - Group H: Lebanon beat Sri Lanka to boost hopes
Goyang: Lebanon kept the pressure firmly on Korea Republic at the Group H summit after a 3-2 win over a spirited Sri Lanka in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Saturday also guaranteed them a top-two finish.
An entertaining opening half at Goyang Stadium saw Sri Lanka go in front through Waseem Razeek before Lebanon replied immediately after with goals from Joan Oumari and Mohamad Kdouh, and then took a 3-1 lead into the interval when Oumari added his second on the stroke of half-time.
Razeek netted from the spot just after the hour to pull Sri Lanka back into the game but they were unable to complete the comeback for their first point in Group H as Lebanon survived a scare to pick up the victory.
Asian Qualifiers - Group H: Korea Republic reclaim top spot with emphatic victory over Turkmenistan
Goyang: Korea Republic returned to the top of Group H in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Saturday after an emphatic 5-0 victory over Turkmenistan helped them move back above Lebanon.
The hosts took an early lead through Hwang Ui-jo before dominating proceedings, but they only managed to add a second in first-half stoppage time through Nam Tae-hee.
Kim Young-gwon made it three as the hour approached before a deserved goal from Kwon Chang-hoon and a second from Hwang rounded off the scoring as Korea Republic posted a resounding win to delight those in attendance at Goyang Stadium.
Maaloul aiming for Syria to do better in Asian Qualifiers
Sharjah: Head coach Nabil Maaloul has set his sights on improving his team’s performances despite seeing his Syria side hand the Maldives a 4-0 defeat that takes them to the verge of the next round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Mahmoud Al Mawas scored a hat-trick – which included two penalties – as the Syrians notched up their sixth win in a row in Group A to stand eight points clear of second-placed China PR.
That result means a win over Guam on Monday in Sharjah will be enough to qualify the Syrians for the next phase of the preliminaries and also earn them a berth at the Finals of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Buoyant Nepal eager for more after Asian Qualifiers victory over Chinese Taipei
Kuwait City: Having registered a crucial win over Chinese Taipei in Group B of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, Nepal are determined to push harder in their remaining matches.
Goals by forward Anjan Bista and substitute Nawayug Shrestha at the Jaber Al-Hamad International Stadium in Kuwait City secured Nepal their second win over Chinese Taipei as the South Asians ensured a fourth place finish in the group.
Bista had scored both goals when the two sides met earlier in the campaign, with Nepal also winning that tie 2-0.
Yoshida urges Singapore to bounce back after Asian Qualifiers loss to Palestine
Riyadh: Head coach Tatsuma Yoshida has challenged Singapore to fight for third place after their disappointing 4-0 defeat to Palestine in Group D of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Singapore went into their tie against at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh targeting three points but were left undone by a 10-minute blitz in the first half which left them trailing 3-0, with Palestine adding a fourth five minutes from time.
The win saw Palestine leapfrog Singapore into third place on goal difference with both on seven points. Saudi Arabia lead with 11 points, Uzbekistan are two behind, while Yemen are bottom with five points.