After a good performance in the first game China will be unhappy to not pick up any points against the hosts. Qatar on the other hand will be delighted, back in contention for a place in the last eight, with the home support behind him it is a real boost to the competition.
Den Zhuoxuxiang impressive in the first game should have done better with his early chance, Yu Han tricked his way down the left, drawing in two players he cut the ball back to Rong Hao. Rong played a superb left foot cross to the back post Deng jumped well but his header went straight in the hands of Qasem Burham.
After missing a good chance China should have been made to pay. Ibrahim Majed’s shot was blocked by Zhao Peng, however the defender fell while attempting his clearance and the ball fell to Sebastian Suria inside the penalty box. Suria swung his left foot at the ball and made an absolute hash of the attempt, scuffing the ball wide of the post. No doubt the miss of the tournament.
Back came China, Yu Han was sent away down the left he had Gao Lin free in the centre, but Yu’s pass was too weak, Gao was dragged away from goal and with the angles against him his shot was easily blocked and straight in the keepers arms. Yu should have done better.
Quarter of the way through the game and China got a warning about the intentions of Qatar forward Yusef Ahmed his powerful right footed shot whistled past the post. There was more to come.
Only seconds later Ahmed controlled the ball well on his chest 30 yards from goal, turning with the ball, then with a deft touch with his knee as he advanced forward he unleashed a shot that Tony Yeboah would have been proud of. The shot rocketed and dipped into the top corner. It must be in contention for Goal of the Tournament so far, a fantastic solo effort.
Qatar doubled their lead just before the break, from a throw in on the right the ball was flicked on to Yusef Ahmed, controlled gracefully on his chest, he then let the ball drop, spinned to his right and fired a shot between defender Du Wei’s legs and the defence could only watch as it trundled into the net. What a way to end the first half, Qatar two goals to the good and putting themselves right back in this tournament.
The second half wasn’t as good as the first, Yang Xu had a half chance for China. Rong Hao looked a good player on the left, full of energy, good passing, good touch. He burst into life cutting inside with a nice give and go, he fed Yang the ball. Yang turned and shot but the ball was always going wide.
Suria then had a chance to make up for his sitter. A Long ball from defence was easily intercepted by Zhao Peng the centre back his header was too weak to clear the ball though and Suria pounced. Dribbling across goal he then fired a powerful shot towards goal, unfortunately the only thing it made contact with was the pole holding up the net.
Already 2-0 down things got worse for China before the end. Zhao Peng although not having the best game, the management team will have been worried when he had to come off. Holding his hamstring it did not look good, and you don’t want to leave Du Wei all by himself in the centre of your defence.
The game ended 2-0 a great victory for the hosts, China disappointed they couldn’t build on the opening win. China coach Gao Hongbo felt let down by his teams quality in front of goal.
“Our team didn’t do very well in the attack,” he said.
“Qatar scored their two goals in the first-half and we didn’t put them under enough pressure so they organised their defence as the pressure was not big.
“This is a very good experience for the team. It is an away game and there were a lot of fans here to support Qatar. The atmosphere of the stadium was great and our young players can learn from the match.
“All the players did a very good job tonight. We lost the game but losing is a part of our life and I think we can do better in the next game, which is the most important game for us.”
Qatar’s Coach Bruno Metsu was delighted his side finally showed what they were made of.
“We had to show the true face of our team and the players showed our real performance tonight,”
“I’m proud with everything that they showed and happy about this performance.
“I hope that we can have a similar display in next match against Kuwait so that we can carry on in the competition and advance to the knockout stage.
“We did our best to get a 2-0 lead in the game against China. After taking the lead, we faced a tough situation as China went on the attack as they tried to get back into the game.
“We missed several chances but I’m happy that we created these chances. I hope that we can create such chances in the next game and that we can take the pressure off our shoulders against Kuwait.”
Qatar will fancy their chances against Kuwait in the last group game, and China know they will most likely need a win if they want to make it to the last eight. Should be an exciting last day in Group A on Sunday.