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Heroic Wang books China's Tokyo ticket

By SHI FUTIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2021-04-14 08:57
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Wang Shuang celebrates after scoring Team China's decisive extra-time goal in the second leg of the Steel Roses' Olympic qualification playoff against South Korea in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, on Tuesday. The game finished 2-2 as China won 4-3 on aggregate to book the remaining Asian zone ticket for this summer's Tokyo Games. XINHUA

Wuhan native nets double as Steel Roses edge qualification playoff thriller

Overcome with emotion, Wang Shuang sank to her knees and cried tears of joy as her Team China teammates rushed to celebrate with their savior.

After a nerve-jangling 120 minutes of soccer-and a roller-coaster last year and a half for Wuhan native Wang-the outpouring of emotion was hardly surprising.

Having netted in last week's 2-1 first-leg victory, Wang was again China's hero by bagging a double-including a sublime extra-time winner-to book the Steel Roses' ticket to this summer's Tokyo Olympics following a tense qualification playoff against South Korea.

The 4-3 aggregate victory sparked wild celebrations on the pitch and among the 13,000 ecstatic home fans at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Center.

"We never gave up, even when we were 2-0 down in the first half, and we always believed we could come back," said Wang. "We deserved the victory because we've run over 10,000 meters every day and trained together for over 100 days.

"The harder we train, the luckier we can be. We've been preparing for this for 130 days. We knew the South Korean team only trained for one month. We had to fight to the last minute."

That fighting spirit has never waned throughout the Steel Roses's pandemic-affected qualification campaign.

The squad came through a tough third-round qualifying tournament in Australia last year after all Group B matches had to be relocated from Wuhan due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the city.

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