Hotshots: Li Ying (China PR) – 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup
Kuala Lumpur: The 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup saw China PR striker Li Ying score seven times to top the goalscoring charts and, in the process, firmly underline her already burgeoning reputation.
Up against Asia’s finest, the Chongqing native proved an irresistible force at the Continental gathering as she garnered goals and plaudits galore en route to helping her country seal a third-place finish.
Not content with her exemplary displays in Jordan, Li Ying went on to star for China at the following year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup where she appeared three times and found the net in a crucial 1-0 group stage win over South Africa – the wonderful volleyed effort earning her the Player of the Match award.
Join the-AFC.com as we go back in time to relive Li’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup goals. Strikes which made her, quite rightly, an AFC hotshot to remember.
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Goal #1 vs Thailand – Group Stage: April 6, 2018
In search of their ninth AFC Women’s Asian Cup crown, China began with a comfortable 4-0 win over Thailand in Group A. With the East Asians already two goals to the good, Li opened her competition account when – after finding time and space in the area – she neatly converted Song Duan’s pinpoint pass to effectively end the game as a contest on 67 minutes.
Goal #2 and #3 vs Philippines – Group Stage: April 9, 2018
Li’s fine form continued on Matchday Two when she scored twice to guide China through to the semi-finals following a 3-0 win over the Philippines. Her first came after 17 minutes – Li was in the right place at the right time to fire home after Ren Guixin’s shot had struck a post. Li duly rounded off the scoring by converting Gu Yasha’s cross shortly before the hour mark.
Goal #4 and #5 vs Jordan – Group Stage: April 12, 2018
Matchday Three brought another two-goal haul for Li. After a cagey opening, China roared into a 4-1 lead before she found the target, this time courtesy of a neat turn and finish some 15 minutes into the second half. Li’s fifth strike of the tournament came shortly after, the striker picking herself up after being hauled down in the area to slam home the resulting penalty with aplomb.
Goal #6 vs Japan – Semi-finals: April 17, 2018
China’s 2018 title hopes came to an end in the semi-finals when they were beaten 3-1 by defending champions Japan. Despite the defeat, Li shone brightly throughout the encounter and bagged her sixth goal in four games thanks to a late – and consummately struck – penalty. The result consigned China to a play-off for third place with Thailand.
Goal #7 vs Thailand – 3rd / 4th Placing: April 20, 2018
China concluded their campaign in style as a 3-1 win over Thailand helped them finish third. After a goalless yet entertaining first period, the breakthrough came six minutes after the restart, Li Danyang’s astute pass finding Li who turned and unleashed a terrific shot that nestled into the corner of the net to register her seventh and final goal of the competition.
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