The Steel Roses showed their steel at the Asian Games, thrashing Tajikistan 16-0 in a women’s football group B game.
Substitute Wang Shanshan scored nine goals from only 11 shots after coming off the bench. The 28-year-old only played 34 minutes.
Bizarrely, China were only 3-0 up at half-time but by the final whistle had matched group leaders North Korea’s margin of victory from Friday.
Watch China put 16 goals past Tajikistan at the Asian Games
China remain in second place despite the huge win because the Koreans beat Hong Kong 8-0, a goal better than China’s 7-0 win in their opening game last Friday.
The glut leaves Wang on 10 goals in two games and top of the race for the golden boot. Teammate Zhao Rong has five goals, all from the Tajikistan game.
Chinese social media users expressed a mixture of shame and disbelief at the game where China had 65 shots – one every 72 seconds – and hit the target with 33 of them.
There were tens of thousands of comments in response to posts on Sina Weibo and hundreds more on the story on Sina Sports.
Wang Shanshan, 9 goals in one match. pic.twitter.com/XJoA6ciTMG
— Football China (@footballchina) 21 August 2018
Some users declared the game a “waste of time” while others complained that China should not have exceeded double digits to allow their opponents to save face, a point that has been contested as China look to avoid Japan in the next round, which they will do if they top the group.
One Sina Weibo user pointed out the difference in pay between the men’s and women’s players and asked when the women “will get a raise”, also pointing out that Marcello Lippi is paid 120 million yuan (US$28 million) a year to oversee the underperforming men’s side.
FT: TJK 0 – 16 CHN
— AFC (@theafcdotcom) 20 August 2018
The eight goals in the last 10 minutes was a topic of discussion with several suggesting the physical difference between the pros of China and the amateurs of Tajikistan had an effect on the scoreline.
There was almost universal praise for “Nine-ball day” Wang as she has been named, but one user said it was like “adults against kindergarten children”. Another asked if they were playing basketball.
Hong Kong will join North Korea and China if they don’t lose to Tajikistan on Wednesday night. The reward for the winner-takes-all game between the top two is to avoid favourites Japan in the next round.