Sharjah, UAE - China PR confirmed themselves as runners-up in Group A with a 5-0 win over the Maldives in Sharjah on Friday in the final round of Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Liu Binbin and Wu Lei gave their team a two-goal half-time lead before A Lan, Zhang Yuning and Tan Long completed a comfortable night’s work for a Chinese squad attempting to keep the country’s hopes of FIFA World Cup qualification alive.
The win against the Maldives moves China PR onto 16 points from their seven games. The five runners-up with the best records will join seven of the eight group winners – FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar will not feature in the final round despite finishing on top of Group E - in the next phase.From the first whistle Chinese pushed for a significant win and they took a sixth minute lead when Liu Binbin fired high into the Maldives net.
Li Tie’s side notched up their second on the half hour mark with Wu Lei on target, the Espanyol striker latching on to Zhang Yuning’s ball through the Maldives defence before rounding the goalkeeper to score into an empty net.
Two goals in just two minutes in the second half gave the Chinese further breathing space, with A Lan netting after Faisal had saved his initial header while Zhang Yuning scored two minutes later with a left-foot strike from outside the penalty area.
With a little over 10 minutes remaining Tan Long headed in his side’s fifth when he met Yin Hongbo’s pinpoint cross from the right flank.