Underdogs Finland scored two goals in the first 30 minutes to upset 10-player China in their final group match of Algarve Cup women's football tournament on Monday.
China, who lost their first group games, were determined to beat Finland, only to see their plan suffered an apocalyptic setback in the 23rd minute when midfielder Li Dongna handled the ball in the penalty area.
Refree Anna de Toni expelled Li with a red card and awarded Finland a penalty kick on which midfielder Anna-Kaisa Rantanen scored from the spot.
Seven minutes later, Finland striker Sanna Talonen eluded charging China goalkeeper Zhang Yanru on a solo run before driving the ball into the empty goal.
China tried hard on attack but clearly could not find any means to crack Finland's packed defence.
China's acting head coach Wang Haiming cut a philosophical figure after the game hoping the unexpected loss could serve as a blessing in disguise.
"We wanted to win this match and made meticulous preparation, but the red card and penalty disrupted our plan.
"Many players are young, most of them having only two or three international caps, they must endure some setbacks before growing up. I hope they can earn something positive from this loss." he said.
Finland head coach seemed very excited at his team's win, asking for several minutes to let himself calm down.
"I never expected we could beat China. Before the game, I asked my players to field packed defence, and launch long-ball attack when chance arises. My plan worked," he said.
"We can see China play the game under huge pressure, and they need improve their mentality. They also need a good playmaker to help improve their midfield play," he added.