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Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 08:23 GMT 09:23 UK

China broken by Costa Rica

China 0-2 Costa Rica

Costa Rica went to the top of Group C after beating World Cup debutants China in Gwangju.

Concacaf group winners Costa Rica struck twice in four second-half minutes as the Chinese showed their defensive naivety.

The Central Americans now lead Brazil on goal difference at the top of their group.

As Costa Rica made the early running, Rolando Fonseca almost broke clear, only to be halted by a desperate last-ditch challenge from Li-Weifeng.

MATCH FACTS

  • 61mins: Gomez fires Costa Rica ahead
  • 65mins: Wright doubles Costa Rica lead.
  • Costa Rica's over-enthusiasm saw Luis Marin and Mauricio Solis get yellow cards within two minutes of each other for fouls on Yang Chen and Sun Jihai.

    China enjoyed a good share of possession but lacked a cutting edge and Costa Rica goalkeeper Erick Lonnis's only alarms in the opening stages was to sprint from his goal to grab a through ball ahead of Hao Haidong.

    Concacaf group winners Costa Rica carved out two good chances to take the lead, with Solis opting to shoot from a narrow angle when he had Fonseca begging for a square pass.

    GRAPHIC ANALYSIS

    Harold Wallace then whipped a cross into the penalty area where the unmarked Wanchope horribly mistimed his leap and failed to get power or direction into his header.

    China's best moment of the first-half came on 39 minutes when they broke quickly after fending off a Costa Rica free-kick.

    China had numerical advantage but with team-mates unmarked Yang Chen carried the ball too far and his shot from a tight angle posed no problems for Lonnis.

    Ronald Gomez hit the opening goal

    China began the second-half in brighter fashion and Lonnis was extended for the first time as he clawed away Yang Chen's excellent cross at full-stretch.

    Wu Chengying fired a dangerous cross across the face of the Costa Rican goal to the far post where Yang Chen sliced a wild shot wide.

    Costa Rica dealt China a harsh blow by taking the lead against the run of play on 61 minutes.

    " It's always good to start the World Cup with a victory "
    Costa Rica's Alexander Guimaraes

    Ronald Gomez's slick backheel played Wanchope in and Wu Chengying's challenge only popped the ball up for Gomez to fire in a left-foot shot.

    China had no time to gather their thoughts before they were 2-0 down.

    Sloppy defending allowed Costa Rica to play a short corner in to Gomez who was allowed to turn and clip a cross to the near post where the unmarked Mauricio Wright headed home.

    Gomez wasted a chance to add a third in injury time when his hesitation allowed Li Tie to clear off the line.


    China: Jiang Jin, Wu Chengying, Li Weifeng, Fan Zhiyi (Yu Genwei 74), Sun Jihai (Qu Bo 26), Xu Yunlong, Li Tie, Ma Mingyu, Li Xiaopeng, Yang Chen (Su Maozhen 66), Hao Haidong.
    Subs not used: An Qi, Du Wei, Gao Yao, Ou Chuliang, Qi Hong, Shao Jiayi, Pu Yang, Zhang Enhua, Zhao Junzhe.

    Booked: Tie Li, Xu, Xiaopeng Li.

    Costa Rica: Erick Lonnis, Luis Marin, Mauricio Wright, Gilberto Martinez, Carlos Castro, Harold Wallace (Steven Bryce 70), Mauricio Solis, Walter Centeno, Rolando Fonseca (Hernan Medford 57), Paulo Wanchope (Wilmer Lopez 80), Ronald Gomez.
    Subs not used: Pablo Chinchilla, Rodrigo Cordero, Jervis Drummond, Alvaro Mesen, Lester Morgan, Winston Parks, Juan Jose Rodriguez, William Sunsing, Daniel Vallejos.

    Booked: Marin, Solis, Gomez, Centeno.

    Goals: Gomez 61, Wright 65.

    Attendance: 27,217

    Referee: Kyros Vassaras (Greece).


    MATCH STATS | 
      |  China PA  |  Costa Rica | 
    Corners (1st half)  |  3  |  1 | 
    Corners (2nd half)  |  3  |  1 | 
    Fouls committed  |  17  |  17 | 
    Caught offside  |  0  |  7 | 
    Shots on target  |  2  |  6 | 
    Shots off target  |  3  |  5 | 
    Hit woodwork (back into play)  |  0  |  0 | 
    Yellow cards  |  3  |  4 | 
    Red cards  |  0  |  0 | 
    STOPPAGE TIME  |   | 
    First half - 2 mins  |  Second half - 3 mins  | 


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