Chonburi: China PR’s passing game clicked into gear as they moved a step closer to the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship semi-finals, completely outplaying Laos to claim a 7-0 win in Chonburi on Wednesday.
The five-time semi-finalists dominated possession and had six individual goal scorers in a match they controlled from start to finish.
The result leaves first-time qualifiers Laos on the brink of elimination following Sunday’s 3-0 loss to host nation Thailand.
China PR had scored after 11 minutes in their opening match against Korea Republic, and this time it took less than three, as Han Huimin forced home Ou Yiyao’s floating corner kick.
The possession football head coach Gao Hong had promised was quickly evident as was her side’s superior technique and passing ability, but Laos worked hard as a defensive unit to limit their time on the ball.
Laos deployed the offside trap with early success, but as the first-half wore on China PR began to unlock their defence with greater regularity.
Laos goalkeeper Phetlavanh Xaiyaphetdala produced a fine reflex save to deny Tang Han from point blank range in the 15th minute, before Yian Qian spurned a good chance shortly after.
But a well-deserved second goal finally came at the half-hour mark, when Li Yingha found herself left alone at the edge of the penalty area and stroked the ball into the back of the net.
Almost immediately after the restart, Tang Han looked certain to make it 3-0, but was again foiled by Phetlavanh as China PR’s dominance of territory and possession continued unchecked.
Midfielder Zhang Linyan was the architect to many of China PR’s brightest attacking moments, and it was her pass that set up Jin Jing for a tap-in on the stroke of half-time.
After the break, the ever-threatening Tang Han finally got her goal, taking the lead to four after several Chinese forwards beat the offside trap in the 57th minute.
Five minutes later the outstanding Zhang Linyan capped her performance by adding her name to the scoresheet, forcing the ball over the line with the simplest of touches after Laos again failed to track China PR’s movement off the ball.
China PR were every bit as dominant as the scoreline suggested, with only Phetlavanh’s heroics saving Laos from an even heavier defeat.
In what was an impressive team performance, Zhang’s performance stood out, and she doubled her goal tally in the 78th minute before substitute Wang Yumeng completed the rout two minutes before full-time.
China PR’s next assignment on Saturday is a potentially crucial clash with Thailand, while Laos will meet Korea Republic.