China draws 2-2 with Nigeria in Olympic women's football warm-up

2008-07-27 12:01:16 GMT       2008-07-27 20:01:16 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

QINHUANGDAO, east China, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese national women's soccer team drew 2-2 with African champion Nigeriain a dramatic Olympic warm-up game here on Sunday.

China opened the scoring in the 11th minute when striker Xu Yuan netted home a cross from front-line partner Han Duan.

The African side equalized in the 32nd minute. Striker Uwak Cynthia cut into the box between two defenders before beating goalkeeper Zhang Yanru.

Nigeria almost won the game when a substitute scored a 90th minute goal from a free kick, but Chinese substitute defender Yuan Fan incredibly netted home an injury-time corner to tie the score.

"It is a good game for build-up," Nigeria coach Jocssy Lad said." China has ever been the first-ranked women football team, but they need more power now."

China coach Shang Rihua was not satisfied with his team's performance in the second half.

"My players were lack of stamina in the second half," Shang said. "And we also need to strengthen defense in the two wings."

Shang replaced midfielder Zhang Ying with star striker Ma Xiaoxu with only 15 minutes to go. Ma, just returning the squad from injury a few days ago, had a wonderful shot inside the box during her short-time display but her effort was denied by Nigeria goalkeeper Precious Dede.

The 64-year-old Shang sent on all the starters at the beginning, with Xu Yuan and Han Duan in the front, who were supported by two defensive midfielder Bi Yan and Pu Wei.

Right winger Zhang Ying had China's first scoring chance in the 8th minute but her close-range shot was narrowly wide of far post after Bi Yan sent a free kick from right wing.

Nigeria's best chance in the first half came in the 14th minute but striker Cynthia's powerful shot at the edge of the box sailed just over the bar.

Chinese striker Han Duan wasted a good chance only five minutes into the second half when her shot from less than ten yards was incredibly tipped over the bar by Dede.

China will play against Sweden in its opening match at the Olympics on Aug. 6. Then it meets Canada on Aug. 9 and faces Argentina on Aug. 12.

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