Belgium Down Nine Men China

Belgium 2-0 China

Belgium clinched a 2-0 win over China in a hot-tempered encounter at the Shenyang Olympics Sports Centre on Sunday evening.

Belgium, who lost 1-0 to Brazil in their opening game, were looking to put behind their defeat against the Brazilians. China, on the other hand, were spared their blushes against New Zealand when Manchester United’s Dong Fangzhuo came off the bench to score a late goal for the Chinese.

With both teams needing a victory, Belgium and China battled doggedly in front of the partisan crowd at the Shenyang Olympics Sports Centre.

A first-half strike from striker Moussa Dembele and 80th minute goal from midfielder Kevin Mirallas helped seal victory for Jean Francois de Sart’s team.

First Half

Both teams were fired up straight from the kick-off but clear-cut opportunities were few and far between.

China were fired up by the voracious support in the opening minutes, as they forced Belgium goalkeeper Logan Bailly to an early save in the second minute. Midfielder Jiang Ning threaded a pinpoint pass to Gao Lin, who was waiting outside the penalty box.

But the Shanghai Shenhua striker’s shot was comfortably collected by Bailly. As China looked like they were going to take the lead, it was Belgium who went ahead in the eighth minute.

Moussa Dembele controlled the ball superbly, and the AZ Alkmaar beat two Chinese defenders from the left to stab the ball into the net.

Dembele’s goal silenced the capacity crowd at the stadium, as the Belgians attempted to pry open the Chinese defence.

Despite being a goal down, China were desperately unlucky not to draw level on 43 minutes.

China skipper Zheng Zhi skipped past Belgium defender Sebastien Pocognoli and dragged the ball into the penalty box, only for Sepp De Rover to intercept the Charlton Athletic player to put the ball out for a corner.

Second Half

The second 45 minutes was a ill-tempered affair, which saw China reduced to nine men.

Defender Feng Xiaoting was first to receive his marching orders from Argentinean referee Hector Baldassi in the 53rd minutes. The Dalian Haichang player let fly a high boot at Pocognoli, as the Belgian went down clutching his chest in pain.

11 minutes later, China executive coach Yin Tiesheng’s misery was compounded further, when Zheng Zhi was red carded for an off-the-ball challenge with a Belgian defender. As frustration continued to mount for the Chinese, Belgium scored their second goal 10 minutes from time.

The Belgians, who came out after the break with more zeal, consolidated the first-half lead through Mirallas.

The forward, who plies his trade in France with Lille FC, netted a spectacular goal, ghosting past the Chinese defence on the left to let fly a powerful shot that gave goalkeeper Qiu Shenjiong no chance at all.

With the clock ticking away, China threw everything they had at the Belgium goalmouth, but it was too little too late as the Belgians held on to the win to keep their hopes of progressing to the next round alive.

Belgium: Logan Bailly (gk), Jan Vertonghen, Sepp De Roover, Thomas Vermaelen, Sebastien Pocognoli, Jeroen Simaeys, Faris Haroun, Maarten Martens (capt), Tom De Mul, Kevin Mirallas, Moussa Dembele

China: Qiu Shenjiong (gk), Tan Wangsong, Feng Xiaoting, Yuan Weiwei, Li Weifeng, Zhou Xuri, Zhou Haibin, Zheng Zhi (capt), Cui Peng, Gao Lin, Jiang Ning

Goals: 8th minute - Moussa Dembele (Belgium) | 80th minute - Kevin Mirallas (Belgium)

Host China lose to Belgium 0-2 and also saw their player being shown the red card.

8′ Moussa Dembele

79′ Kevin Mirallas

Belgium Down Nine Men China Reviewed by admin Ucop on 12:43 AM Rating: 5

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