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China beats England 2-0 in Four Nations

China beats England 2-0 in Four Nations

First-half goals by Zhang Ying and Han Duan lifted China to an easy 2-0 victory over England on Friday in the opening game of the Four Nation women's soccer tournament in southern China.
No. 1-ranked Germany faced the No. 2-ranked United States in the second match.
China controlled play from the start with Zhang scoring in the fourth minute on a bouncing shot from 15 meters (yards) that got in behind England goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain.
Han, China's top forward, put the ball into the net in the 20th, but the play was called off on a foul. However, she threatened several more times in the half and finally scored just seconds from the end, sending a header into the net off a corner from Shi Mengyu.
Kelly Smith had England's only clear chance in the first half, sailing a long shot over the crossbar.
Ranked No. 9 in the world, China dominated the second half, too, with a clear advantage in possession and chances. England is ranked No. 12 by FIFA, soccer's world governing body.
"We were very quick with our passes on the counterattack," said China assistant coach Wang Haiming, who handled the team in the absence of head coach Ma Liangyu. Ma missed the match with an illness.
"I think I am capable and confident of leading the team to good results while Mr. Ma is recovering." Wang said.
England coach Hope Powell said getting behind early hurt.
"I think at times we were very naive and conceding a goal very early set us back," she said.
Several thousand cheering fans attended the game, dwarfed in the cavernous 80,000-seat Guangdong Olympic Stadium.
The tournament continues Sunday and Tuesday. On Sunday England faces the United States and China plays Germany. On Tuesday, it's the Americans vs. China and England against Germany.
The Germans and Americans have left key players behind, using the tournament to experiment before the 16-team World Cup in China opens on Sept. 10. That event will be the last major organizational test for China before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Germany is without star forward Birgit Prinz, a three-time FIFA world player of the year. Other missing players, likely to be starters in the World Cup, include: Kerstin Garefrekes, Renate Lingor, Steffi Jones and Sandra Minnert. The missing players are studying or nursing injuries.
The Americans are also without five keys players. Top forwards Kristine Lilly and Abby Wambach, defender Christie Rampone and midfielder Aly Wagner all being rested.
The other key absence is midfielder Shannon Boxx, who is recovering from knee surgery.


Updated : 2021-06-18 11:01 GMT+08:00