China were far too strong for Malaysia in their 5-1 victory over the host team at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Wednesday in their Group C 2007 Asian Cup opener.
|China's Han Peng (red) heads teammate Wang Dong’s perfect long cross from the right wing into the back of the net|
Han Peng headed the ball in for China’s opening goal and German Energie Cottbus’ striker Shao Jiayi fired home the second.
Wang Dong struck the ball off Malaysian Fauzie Nan into the net and Han headed it home from Mao Jianqing’s left wing cross.
Malaysia replied through substitute Indra Putra Mahayuddin before Wang’s header rounded off China’s whopping win.
The Asian Cup 2004 runners-up threatened as early as the second minute when Mao Jianqing crossed from the left to Wang, whose shot was well saved by Malaysia goalkeeper Azizon Kadir.
Han missed a glorious chance in the seventh minute when he outjumped two Malaysia defenders to head Wang’s cross from the right wide.
Malaysia enjoyed a brief period of pressure with Akmal Rizal Rakhli narrowly caught offside on a through pass from Fauzie Nan but China took the lead after 15 minutes when Han headed Wang’s perfect long cross from the right wing into the back of the net.
The home side nearly found their way back into the game as Hairuddin Omar just failed to meet a Hardi Jaffar corner with his head.
China made it 2-0 in the 36th minute. Skipper Zheng Zhi was the architect this time with a cross from the left which was narrowly missed by a leaping Han but fell nicely for an unmarked Shao to stab the ball into the unguarded net.
As the half drew to a close, Malaysian Akmal delivered the ball into the danger area from the right flank, where Chinese defender Li Weifeng managed to scramble the ball away before it could fall into the path of Hairuddin.
Malaysia came out strongly two minutes after the break with Hairuddin heading a corner wide but the Chinese soon regained control when Shao’s left-footed shot from the edge of box was turned out by goalkeeper Azizon for a corner.
China extended their lead after 51 minutes when Wang’s shot from the edge of the box made a big deflection off Fauzie Nan and rolled agonizingly past stopper Azizon.
It was 4-0 four minutes later when Han easily notched his second of the game, tapping in at the far post after Mao’s cross from the left flew over the head of defender Norhafiz Zamani Misbah.
Substitute Indra Putra grabbed a consolation goal for the Malaysians in the 73rd minute, firing a low drive from 25 meters after a fine lay-off by Hairuddin.
They could have got another shortly afterwards when Hardi fired in a free-kick from the right wing that eluded a crowd of players in the middle and very nearly surprised goalkeeper Li Leilei.
But Wang piled further misery on the co-hosts deep into injury time with a towering header that flew over goalkeeper Azizon to complete an emphatic win for China.