China flying high ahead of knockout Socceroo clash

China are bracing themselves for a tricky AFC Asian Cup quarter-final against Australia on Thursday night after they made it three wins from three in Group B on Sunday.

The Chinese have been the tournament’s surprise-packets winning all three games to top a tough Group B ahead of Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia.

On Sunday in Canberra, the Chinese disposed of North Korea 2-1 in front of a vocal pro-China crowd. 

It means Alain Perrin’s troops have a meeting with the Socceroos in Brisbane on Thursday night for a spot in the semi-finals.

Perrin, whose side won two of their three group games on the bumpy Brisbane Stadium surface, says his team is gaining confidence with each outing in the tournament.

“We know to play the host team will be very difficult for us, but after three difficult matches we’ve got a new record for China with nine points,” said Perrin after Sunday’s 2-1 victory over North Korea.

“During our first two games we played in Brisbane and we know the pitch condition and we know it’s not very good.

“I think it’s a pity for a knockout stage game.

Attacker Sun Ke was the hero for China against the Koreans, scoring both goals in a dominant first half display.

He said of taking on the Socceroos: “Of course Australia are a very strong team and this time they are the hosts. I’m sure the next match will be very difficult for us. 

“But we just need to do what we should do. I think if we can focus on the game, and keep our concentration to make sure we pay attention to every detail, I think we can leave the pitch having performed well.”

The Socceroos have played China on 10 previous occasions, winning five, losing four and drawing the other.

Their last meeting came in the 2013 East Asian Cup, where China won a classic contest 4-3.

The Socceroos will face China PR in the Quarter-Finals of the AFC Asian Cup at Brisbane Stadium on Thursday 22 January (8.30pm local kick off). Click here to purchase tickets.