Male', MALDIVES - China's Elkesson scored a brace against the Maldives to beat them by 5-0 in their opening game of 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Maldives coach Petar Segrt made two changes to the line-up, Ali Ashfaq and Hussain Nihan are in the starting line-up against China.
China dominated the game and created very good chances and the first one came from Linpeng after seven minutes. Linpeng's attempt inside the box was blocked by Shifaau.
Maldives keeper Faisal was forced to stop the attempt from Wu Lei in the 22nd minute. Five minutes later Yang Xu hits the cross bar from a descent volley inside the box.
Wu Xi broke the deadlock after 33 minutes from a descent header inside the box.
Wu Lei doubled the lead before the break from another descent volley inside the box after escaping from the off side trap.
Maldives started the second half with a change, Naiz comes in for Ali Ashfaq and within the first ten minutes of the second half, Maldives played very well and created some chances.
Akram's free kick in the 55th minute hits the cross bar and Naiz's shot from the rebounded ball was blocked by Chinese keeper.
Yang Xu changed the score from a penalty in the 64th minute. Yang Xu has scored the first match of China's World Cup qualifying campaign for the third time. He scored a hat-trick against Laos in 2011 and another hat-trick against Bhutan in 2015 for the two opening games of China's World Cup qualifying for 2014 and 2018.
Maldives face major problems when referee gave marching orders to skipper Akram with a second yellow card and awarded the Chinese a penalty. Elkesson scored from the spot and in the additional time he scored another goal to change the score to 5-0.