China justified their tag as strong favorites against Timor-Leste in their opening match at the 2018 Asian Games. China managed to take the lead within the first 4 minutes of the game, and by the 30th minute were absolutely cruising at 4-0 up.
The game was done and dusted at that point, and Timor-Leste looked shell shocked as they struggled to control the ball or find team mates with passes. China’s dominance was total at this point in the game.
Feet off the gas
China had complete control of the game in the second half, and they could have scored as many goals as they wanted to at that point. When the score got to 6-0 Chinese players started trying to be Ronaldo or Messi and do more than was necessary.
If I was the Chinese manager, even at 6-0 up that kind of play would annoy me. Firstly it’s still disrespectful to your opponent even though you giving them a proper tonking, and you don’t really know if the other teams in the group are going to smash Timor-Leste too.
It sounds horrible, but if other teams do smash Timor-Leste then the Chinese players thinking they’re Messi or Ronaldo could come back to haunt them, although with a lot of the teams in the group stages being rather weak and playing in the tournament for valuable experience then it is unlikely to happen.
China could be dark horses for the tournament
Yes, it was only Timor-Leste that China played against and defeated with ease, but China looked like a sleek outfit. It’s not exactly a secret how much money China is pumping into football right now, and at some point you would imagine all that investment into football development will pay off at some point.
Could this be the tip of the iceberg where Chinese sides start to perform a lot better at least in Asian competitions? The only real competition for the top sides in Asia is against the likes of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and Australia (who didn’t enter this competition) so it means China don’t have far to push themselves before they can compete with the very top level of Asia. Whereas for the rest of the World they still have a long way to go.
As for the Asian Games, if they can perform at the same level they did against Timor-Leste against more formidable opponents then there is no reason why China cannot be considered dark horses for this tournament, there is no doubt they could give some of the bigger more fancied sides in the competition problems, that’s for sure.