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Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Saturday, January 31, 2004

China pulls off second win at Four-Nation soccer tourney

Three first-half goals helped the Chinese Under-23 to their second victory here Friday atthe Four-Nation soccer tournament as they swept past a weakened Moroccan team 3-1.


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Three first-half goals helped the Chinese Under-23 to their second victory here Friday atthe Four-Nation soccer tournament as they swept past a weakened Moroccan team 3-1.

A 29th-second goal from midfielder Gao Ming caught the Moroccans unexpected who soon found out the hosts' determination to win.

Iajour managed to equalize for Morocco on 18 minutes but Chinese captain Du Wei headed in a corner from Wang Dong nine minutes later to put the hosts ahead again.

The Moroccans' winning hope was demolished as striker Cao Ming tapped in his second goal of the tournament after the ball was deflected by goalkeeper El Had in the 29th minute.

"I think my players should learn how to quickly make up for their mistakes on the field when there are loopholes in the defense line," said Chinese head coach Shen Xiangfu, regretting the goal they conceded when Iajour scored after a series of passesin the box.

Moroccan head coach Fathi Jamal owed their defeat to fatigue and better collective technique of the Chinese side.

"We have come a long way to get here and don't have much time to have a good rest so the players all feel tired," said Jamal, who brought a team at an average age of 21 to the friendly.

"On the other hand, China really has a strong team and the players have good collective techniques and a strong will to win.

"I want to congratulate the winners," said Jamal.

Morocco was rated the strongest of the three sides invited to the event which serves as a tune-up for China in their build-up for the Olympic qualifying as the African team twice defeated South Korea, grouped with China in the Olympic Asian qualifier, ina tournament in Doha, Qatar early this month.

To the disappointment of many, Morocco sent a lineup different from the one in Doha and Jamal said he brought here a backup squad.

"Most of my players are under 21. They are the backup squad of Moroccan Olympic team," said Jamal.

But Shen paid little attention to the dispute over the real strength of the African side.

"Our intention in the event is to find out where we should improve and I think the Moroccan team indeed taught us something,"said the former Chinese striker, 47.

Earlier in the afternoon, Romania were held to a goalless draw by Russia.

"A goalless draw may be uninteresting to the spectators but my players have done their best," said Russian head coach Andrey Checkychov.

China lead the standings with two wins while Morocco stay second with one while Russia and Romania were each defeated twice.

China take on Romania Sunday while Morocco face off Russia in the last round.





Source: Xinhua


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China beat Russia 3-0 at four-nation soccer tournament



 


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