Article Date: 09-10-2017
The first game of Taiwan’s supposed football revolution got underway with a friendly against Mongolia. In theory by looking at Fifa’s rankings this should have been a one sided encounter with Taiwan handing Mongolia a pounding. Anyone who follows football closely however knows the FIFA rankings are a joke, Switzerland sitting in the top 10 being a classic example of that. Once you get down to the lower echelons of the rankings a few positive results are enough to torpedo you up the rankings.
The game kicked off at 7, and we didn’t manage to get into the stadium until 7:10 due to not getting out of work as early as first hoped. By the time we entered Taiwan were already 1-0 down, showing that Mr. White clearly has his work cut out for himself if he thinks he can get this rabble to the Asian Cup Finals, as Mongolia are bigger no hopers than Taiwan.
It soon became clear as soon as we sat down that Taiwan were dictating most of the play, but as usual their attacking and shooting verged on atrocious at times. Either it’s a mighty pea-roller right at the keeper, or a mighty welly over the bar, these are the two most attempted shots at goal you’ll see Taiwan attempt. On top of the crap shooting the decision making in the final third wouldn’t look out of place in Sunday League Football. If they really do harbor any thoughts of competing at UAE 2019 then they really need to sort out the issues in their attacking game.
Parity was eventually restored as Taiwan managed to pop the ball into the back of the net eventually to make it 1-1. It was a deserved equalizer as the game was being dominated by Taiwan, but it often broke down in the final third as they’d no clue how to work the openings. I’d say for every Taiwan goal, they need at least 6-8 chances. There is no way Bahrain will allow them to carve out that many opportunities.
As Mongolia offered little threat Taiwan were getting chance, after chance. Eventually they managed to make enough chances to make sure they put some of them into the onion bag. They plodded to a 3-1 lead when really they should have been 5 or 6 – 1 up. As is the case with Taiwan nothing is ever straightforward and Mongolia came back into the game with what I considered to be the best goal of the night. A peach of a through ball was played for their main striker to run onto, he took a touch to position himself then bang! No fussing about. No complicating matters. Just knocked it past the keeper, regardless how low they are in the rankings Taiwan could learn a thing or two from that. That’s right Taiwan – stop thinking your Maradona and smash it in the net.
Taiwan managed to grab a goal that wouldn’t be out of place in Football Manager, a mess up at the back of Mongolia’s defence gifted a goal to Taiwan which if it was on the aforementioned footy manager it would have you smashing your laptop of the wall it was that much of a shit show.
Bahrain will be rocking into town on Tuesday night full of confidence that they’ll be dishing out another shoeing, and on this showing from Taiwan it wont of made them think any differently. Taiwan will drastically need to up their game to get any points and if the aspirations of qualifying for the Asian Cup are to stay alive they really do need to chuck some points on the board as Turkmenistan are most likely going to beat Singapore.
If Bahrain and Turkmenistan both win as expected, then it would put daylight between those two and Taiwan and Singapore in the bottom two spots. In turn making it very unlikely that either Taiwan or Singapore would stand any chance of being the finals regardless of the rhetoric of both national teams’ managers.