Finally! The Chinese men’s national team did something besides indiscriminately embarrassing themselves, winning the second leg of their tie against Laos 6-1 in Vientiane last night. China previously stuck it to the Southeast Asian side in a 7-2 win five days ago in Kunming, meaning China goes through to the third round of World Cup qualification matches in the Asian Football Confederation.
China is gunning to be one of the four to five teams who will represent the AFC in the 2014 FIFA World Cup taking place in Brazil, a feat they haven’t achieved since 2002’s World Cup held in Japan & South Korea (a playoff against the top team from the Oceania Football Confederation will determine whether the AFC has four or five teams in the next World Cup).
Veteran striker Qu Bo (曲波) of the Chinese Super League’s Shaanxi Renhe Commercial Chanba opened the scoring at the 24th minute, with midfielder Yu Hanchao (于汉超) of Liaoning Whowin putting China up 2-0 by halftime. Laos managed to pull one back soon after the second half began, with Visay Phaphouvanin finding the back of the net. However, China kept their foot on the pedal, with Yu, Deng Zhouxiang (邓卓翔) of Shandong Luneng Taishan and Yu’s Liaoning teammate Yang Xu (杨旭) all adding to the second half scoring.
More video after the jump…
The Chinese side could certainly use the good news, considering their failure to qualify for next year’s Olympics in London (against Oman, of all places! Uh, no offense to our Omani readership). A qualification for 2014 means that Chinese fans semi-pretending to be North Korean wouldn’t be the only sizable Chinese supporter contingent at the next World Cup.
However, the next round is when the major AFC players make their appearance, with 2010 World Cup competitors Japan, Australia, South Korea and the DPRK all entering the qualifying stages (along with Bahrain, lest we forget). The teams received byes for the first two rounds due to their ranking as the top current five teams in Asian football.
Hong Kong unfortunately had no reason to celebrate, after getting sand kicked in their faces to the tune of 5-0 against Saudi Arabia, going out 8-0 on aggregate after losing 3-0 in Dammam. And neither poor Macau nor Chinese Taipei even made it out of the first round, losing 13-1 to Vietnam and 4-4 on away goals to Malaysia on aggregate, respectively.
In other qualifying news, Palestine had their World Cup dreams dashed by Thailand after losing 3-2, Uzbekistan flayed fellow Stan state Kyrgyzstan 7-0, and Singapore manhandled northern neighbor Malaysia 6-4 (all scores are aggregate).
And just for kicks (ouch!), here’s video of the 7-2 Chinese first leg win against Laos in Kunming.
Related: Chinese football gets half a billion yuan to be less awful