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Bale's hat-trick helps Wales crush hosts China 6-0 in China Cup opener

(Xinhua)    09:13, March 23, 2018

Gareth Bale (R) scores a hat-trick to help Wales crush hosts China 6-0 in the opener of the 2018 China Cup International Football Championship in Nanning, southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on March 22, 2018. [Photo: Imagine China]

Gareth Bale (R) scores a hat-trick to help Wales crush hosts China 6-0 in the opener of the 2018 China Cup International Football Championship in Nanning, southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on March 22, 2018. [Photo: Imagine China]

Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick to help Wales crush hosts China 6-0 in the opener of the 2018 China Cup International Football Championship and secure the first win for Ryan Giggs as the coach of Wales in Nanning Thursday night.

Both teams fielded their best players available for the game, but Wales were apparently the stronger side which put huge pressure on the hosts from the kick-off.

Bale, who spent 30 hours on the trip to China, scored the first goal for his team in the third minute, before he made it 2-0 in the 21st minute.

Sam Vokes extended the lead to 3-0 in the 37th minute as he tipped the ball into the net through the pass from Andy King. Harry Wilson scored another goal before half time to make it 4-0.

Wales kept the momentum after the interval as Vokes beat the keeper in a one-on-one situation and made it 5-0 in the 57th minute. Bale soon completed his hat-trick to make it 6-0 before he was substituted by Ben Woodburn in the 63rd minute.

China was very close to a consolation goal but Yu Hanchao's shot after cutting in the penalty area from left wing was denied by the post.

After this game, Bale has scored 29 goals for Wales, breaking Ian Rush's record of 28 goals.

Wales thrashes hosts China 6-0 in the opener of the 2018 China Cup International Football Championship in Nanning, southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on March 22, 2018. [Photo: Imagine China]

Wales thrashes hosts China 6-0 in the opener of the 2018 China Cup International Football Championship in Nanning, southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on March 22, 2018. [Photo: Imagine China]

China's head coach Marcello Lippi was apparently not satisfied with his team's performance, saying that "I am not surprised by the fact that we lost the game, but I was surprised by the way we lost it. I am not satisfied with the performance today."

"But I am the head coach of China, so I have to take full responsibility, my responsibility for making mistakes in selecting the players in the squad as well as the starting lineup," Lippi added.

Ryan Giggs spoke highly of his players in the after-match press conference, saying that the players had really good performance for they kept pushing the opponents when the game was already won.

Speaking of his record-breaking night, Bale said he felt good tonight when stepping on the pitch. It was great achievement and the credit also goes to teammates and the head coach.

Wales hence go into the final and China have to face the third-place playoff.

In the first edition of the tournament last year, China lost 2-0 to Iceland but finished third after beating Croatia in a penalty shootout.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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