Source: China State Council Information Office
Wu Lei’s last-minute goal secured a dramatic 3-2 win for China against Vietnam in the final round of the FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualifiers on Thursday.
The Espanyol striker netted in the fifth minute of added time after Vietnam had fought back from two goals down and looked set to claim a draw before Wu’s sensational winner.
It is China’s first victory in the final round of the Asian qualifiers after back-to-back defeats against Australia and Japan last month. Vietnam remains rooted to the bottom of the group after three rounds of matches.
The best chance in the tame first-half came in the 35th minute when Zhang Yuning chipped Wu Lei’s pass over goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong but was ruled out for an offside.
China broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute when Zhang netted home with a right-footed shot from the center of the box to give China the lead after Wu’s shot was blocked by the Vietnamese goalkeeper.
In the 75th minute, Wu tucked in the bottom left corner with a header on Wang Shenchao’s brilliant cross.
Vietnam managed to pull back with only 10 minutes to go as Ho Tan Tai scored from the right side of the box following a long ball from Nguyen Hoang Duc.
Nguyen Tien Linh fired home the equalizer in the 90th minute with a right-footed shot assisted by Nguyen Quang Hai with a through ball.
Wang and Wu combined again in the last minute to give China their first win in the final round of the FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualifiers.
China was drawn into Group B of the final round with Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Vietnam. The top two will qualify for Qatar 2022 directly. The third finisher will play a home-and-away playoff with its counterpart in Group A, and the winner will go into a continental playoff.