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Kyrgyzstan Slots in Seven
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Kyrgyzstan's Vadim Harchenko, No 18, shoots between the Macau, China defence during the 7-0 routKyrgyzstan emphatically launched the 15th Asian Games football action with a pounding 7–0 victory against an unconvincing Macau, China ill equipped to deal with the pace, skill and raw determination of a simply unstoppable Kyrgyzstan.

Early in the evening it had looked like football was off to a tame start with a goalless draw between the first group sides at the Al Wakra stadium, Jordan and Tajikistan.

A well deserving Jordan failed to convert pace, determination and initiative into a goal, despite repeated shots and obvious mastery of the match.

Even the Kyrgyzstan - Macau, China match looked initially set to disappoint with the Kyrgyzstan team failing to convert two golden opportunities in the opening minutes of the game. Then finally their persistence paid off with a 10m cannonball served up by powerful Kyrgyzstan captain Ruslan Sydykov.

Boosted at last by a reward for their relentless efforts, Kyrgyzstan pounded Macau, China until the whistle ended the first half.

Kyrgyzstan exploded into action in the second half, opening the half's scoring with a power shot from No 17, Evgeny Malinin, in the second minute of the half.

Again and again the surging Kyrgyzstan tide broke over the Macau, China defenders until inevitably they broke through. In the 61st minute, substitute Vladimir Verevkin scored with a shot straight through the middle of the defence.

In the 70th minute Kyrgyzstan scored again, No 12 Artem Muladjanov slotting in an angled effort from the right side of the field. Macau, China's defence began to look like it was devastatingly beaten.

But in fact, then Macau, China began to rally, their torpor dispelled by the sharp, shocking prospect of a 5-0 drubbing.

For 15 minutes of valiant play they took the game to their opponents.

It was not to last. Finally, exhausted, they started leaking goals. The fifth went in, the sixth following in the 86th minute from Malinen again.

From then on, Macau, China, broken, crumpled under the pressure, letting in a lamentable seventh.

Kyrgyzstan No 15, Almazbeck Mirzaliev scored, but the Macau, China defenders literally fell over themselves to let him in. With the goalkeeper and two defenders prostrate on the turf, it was an embarrassingly simple job for Mirzaliev to tap the ball in the net, spectators watching in fascinated horror.

Finally the crowd, with a sigh of relief, heard the referee's final whistle, after four minutes of stoppage time added on, letting hapless, helpless Macau, China off the rack.

After the game, Kyrgyzstan coach Boris Podkorytov kindly said, "Macau, China weren't the strongest team in the Group. We planned to attack them and our plan paid off.

"Jordan and Tajikistan will be the greatest challenges in the group.

"You have a chance with every game you play and we would hope to qualify from the group. Our main aim is to get into the second round."

Masananaga Kageyama, Macau, China's coach took some blame on himself, " I told the players to attack in the second half, but that left them open at the back. I can't blame them for that.

"They played an attacking game and played their best."

Kyrgyzstan now look to be, like Iraq, among the top teams in this round of the tournament.

( November 18, 2006)

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