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FIFA International Friendly: Zhang’s brace paces hosts to victory over island side


06-04-2016 15:48 BJT

as the Chinese national team was at home facing Trinidad & Tobago in an international friendly. The match in Qinhuangdao was a warm-up for the PRC, ahead of their final phase of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. And with 19-year-old Zhang Yuning making his debut for the hosts, this contest in Hebei Province would be a night to remember for the youngster.

The home side would be able to take advantage of some sloppy play Trinidad & Tobago, as they intercept this pass -- Gao Lin then crosses in from the right -- as Jiang Ning is able to head it home. 1-nil China after just two minutes.

On the half-hour mark -- the PRC with a corner -- and Gao's ball finds the head of Zhang, who guides it home. The defender tries to head it off the line, but to no avail. 2-nil.

The Caribbeans try and cut into the margin off their own corner -- but Abu Bakr Radanfah's header is off the mark. It stays 2-nothing at the break.

Off to the second half -- and China pressing -- this cross from the right flank is headed home by Zhang. His second. He is the youngest player to score twice in his national team debut.

China 4 - Trinidad & Tobago 2

China 4 - Trinidad & Tobago 2

Three minutes later, T&T would get on the scoresheet -- Willis Plaza gets a foot on the ball at the far post -- and it is a 3-1 game.

Five minutes from time -- the Soca Warriors make it interesting --- the through ball, then the cut back, leads to Daniel Cyrus's header lobs the keeper and it is suddenly 3-2.

But China respond two minutes later ---  Hu Rentian fires it in to double the lead and give the hosts a 4-2 lead, on a night when Zhang made an impressive debut for the national team.

"Congratulations to Zhang Yuning on his debut, and scoring for the national team. As a young player, he has confidence, and he shows that he can make an impact in such a short time. It is the result of his overseas experience and hard work. We hope to have a couple of young players with similar ability in that role, as we will need depth, because the qualifying matches will occur when the domestic league season is on," said Gao Hongbo, China coach.

"To get goals for the national team is my dream and I think my dream has come true. I am always playing football in everything that I choose to do. The lucky thing is that I did not chose wrong. I did it," Zhang said.

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