Uruguay cash in on late Chinese surrender

Beijing: An own goal by China`s Feng Xiaoting sparked a late glut of goals for World Cup semi-finalists Uruguay, as the South Americans dispatched China 4-0 in the driving rain in Wuhan city.

Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez forced Feng into scoring the own goal -- initially thought by Chinese commentators to be a goal by Suarez himself -- to begin the rout after a goalless first 70 minutes on a sloppy rain-soaked pitch.

Once the taps opened, a dispirited Chinese side could do nothing to stop the powerful South Americans with Edinson Cavani blasting a rocket beyond Chinese goalie Zeng Cheng from 30 metres out nine minutes later.

The Uruguayans continued their late onslaught with substitute Cristian Rodriguez hooking in a right-footed shot from outside the box moments later, while Sebastian Fernandez rounded off the scoring in the 85th minute.

Despite the relentless rain, the visitors attacked throughout the first half, but were unable to finish off their opportunities as the two sides went into the break scoreless.

The loss was a disappointment for Chinese coach Gao Hongbo after his side dispatched Syria last week 2-1 and drew with World Cup quarter-finalists Paraguay 1-1 last month.

Uruguay drubbed Indonesia 7-1 in Jakarta on Friday as part of an Asian tour.

China, where football has been blighted by a huge corruption scandal, are preparing for next year`s Asian Cup, hoping to rebound from a string of international disappointments including failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Under Gao`s leadership, the side has had a run of good results and are now 82nd in the FIFA rankings -- a significant improvement from their lowly position of 108th in May last year when Gao took the helm.

Gao has been tasked with getting his side to the semi-finals of the Asian Cup in Qatar and qualifying for the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014.

Gambling, match-fixing, crooked referees and poor performances by the national team have made the sport the laughing stock of fans and a matter of mounting state concern.

Bureau Report