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China Crushes Indonesia 5-0 in Asian Cup

Midfielder Shao Jiayi scored two and made another to lead China to a 5-0 rout of Indonesia in their Asian Cup Group A match at the Worker's Stadium here on Wednesday.

The other three goals were scored by veteran striker Hao Haidong, his replacement Li Yi and Player of the Match Li Ming.

China, who were held by Bahrain 2-2 in their opening game last Saturday, climbed to top of the group with four points, leading Indonesia (3), Bahrain (2) and Qatar (1).

China, who won all their previous six meetings with Indonesia, proved too powerful and outscored the rivals 23-0.

Shao, who played with German Bundesliga side Munich 1860 and came off bench to play only 45 minutes in the Bahrain match, started in the central midfield replacing the injured Li Xiaopeng and paid coach Arie Haan's trust in the 25th minute.

Li Ming, another surprise starter, stole the ball in the midfield and fed it to striker Li Jinyu on the right. The Shandong Luneng player's cross found Shao in the box and he made no mistakes from close range to give China a 1-0 lead.

Indonesia, who shocked Qatar 2-1 in their first match last Sunday, had to play with 10 men after their midfielder Alexander Pulalo was sent off for a vicious challenge on China midfielder Zhao Junzhe.

Hao, the most capped player in the squad, extended the hosts' lead to 2-0 after heading home a Shao cross in front of the goal in the 41st minute.

The 34-year-old Dalian striker was brought down in the box two minutes into stoppage time but Lebanese referee Najm Talaat turned a blind eye on the hosts' plea for a penalty.

Hao was apparently injured and replaced by Li Yi after the interval.

Seven minutes coming out of the dressing room, China were ahead3-0 thanks to a fabulous kick by 32-year-old Li Ming, Hao's Dalian teammate.

Li Ming's international career was believed to be finished after being left out of former China boss Bora Milutinovic' World Cup squad in 2002 at the last moment.

But Haan surprised the Chinese fans to give him a chance to play his fourth Asian Cup.

His curling corner kick flew across the Indonesian goal and Hendro Kartiko, the 'keeper, touched the ball but failed to catch it, seeing it arrow into the back of the net.

China dominated the match totally and Shao scored his second goal in the box in the 66th minute before he was substituted by Zheng Bin.

Li Yi made it 5-0 in the 80th minute, rising high to head home a Yan Song cross.

With Shao shining in the match, another overseas player Sun Jihai, who played with English premier league side Manchester City, faced a further crisis of trust in Haan's squad.

Sun, a regular in Kevin Keegan's squad, came off bench in the 77th minute for Shao in China's 2-2 draw with Bahrain, which prompted his father Sun Zongliang's harsh criticism of China coach Arie Haan.

That must have angered Haan and he failed to get a single minute to play this time.

Bahrain drew with Qatar 1-1 in an earlier match.

(Xinhua News Agency July 22, 2004)

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