Veteran striker Yang Xu scored four goals in 25 minutes during China’s 7-0 blitz of Guam while Australia easily defeated a struggling Nepal in Thursday’s World Cup Asian zone qualifiers.
China led 6-0 at half-time but struggled to keep up the pressure and would have gone scoreless in the second half without a sudden strike by Brazil-born Elkeson, who in August became the first player without Chinese heritage to be named in the national squad.Meanwhile, Jamie Maclaren scored a hat-trick in Australia’s 5-0 thrashing of Nepal in Canberra.
The Socceroos missed several opportunities against their 161st-ranked visitors but maintained a tight defence and dominated possession through the match. Their opponents were flagging by half-time, with a dogged showing by keeper Kiran Chemjong avoiding a bigger blowout.
Melbourne City’s Maclaren opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Chemjong lost his grip on a drive from the edge of the box.
He doubled the lead in the 18th with a header off Rhyan Grant.
International debutant Harry Souttar followed five minutes later with his own nod into the goal, but a potential fourth by Mathew Leckie seconds before the break was controversially ruled offside.
The visitors rallied in the second half but an own goal just before the hour added to their woes.Maclaren scored his third in the closing moments.
In Tehran, Karim Ansarifard scored four goals, while Sardar Azmoun netted three as Iran breezed past minnows Cambodia 14-0.
Mehdi Taremi and Mohammad Mohebi recorded a brace each, while Morteza Pouraliganji, Mohammad Kanani and Ahmad Nourollahi helped themselves with a goal each.
Between 4,000-4,500 women attended a football match freely for the first time in decades, after FIFA threatened to suspend Iran over its controversial stadium restrictions. Elated female fans wore the national green, white and red flag around their shoulders and over their hair as they streamed into a tiny section of Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.