Tue, 06 Dec 2022

ADELAIDE, Australia, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese international Xiao Yuyi made her debut in the Australian women's football top flight on Sunday when she helped Adelaide United seize a 1-0 victory over Sydney FC in the first round of the new season.

The match was played on a windy and rainy afternoon, with home side Adelaide United managing to secure the victory just minutes before the end. The goal was delivered by 18-year-old midfielder Emilia Murray, who received a long pass from teammate Chelsie Dawber in the 88th minute to score a header from the center of the box.

Xiao, who played 68 minutes in her debut, had two right-footed shots from outside the box. She also won a free kick in the first half and impressed audiences with several passes to teammates.

Adelaide United announced the signing of Xiao earlier in November.

The 26-year-old forward has played more than 30 times for China and is a regular starter as a striker or winger for the national team.

In February, she scored the winner in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Asian Cup final, as China came back from 2-0 down to beat South Korea 3-2 and lift the trophy.

Adelaide United head coach Adrian Stenta told Xinhua after Sunday's match that he was happy with Xiao's performance.

"Considering Xiao has only been here for two weeks, I think her performance was positive for us," said Stenta in an interview.

"She has quality. She has very good technical ability," he said. "She gets better, stronger, and understands the way the team plays a bit more. Her performance will continue to improve."

While making the announcement of Xiao's joining Adelaide United, Stenta had described her as a player "with many attributes that will compliment our squad, but specifically our attacking depth".

In the past fortnight, he noted that Xiao fits into the team quite well.

"My expectation is that she plays well herself individually, but she is able to contribute to the way we want to play as a team," said the coach.

Talking about her first match in the A-League Women, Xiao said she felt OK about the overall performance.

"I might need more time to adapt to playing here, but in general, I think it is OK," she told Xinhua.

Xiao disclosed that they have training once or twice a day. She was grateful to the people who are helping her to fit in and was confident that she could get used to the new environment quickly.

Born in south China's Guangdong province, Xiao started her career in Shanghai.

In fact, in recent years many Chinese players have decided to improve themselves in overseas leagues.

On Saturday, Chinese international Wu Chengshu, who joined Canberra United this month, also started her maiden show in A-League Women.

Xiao said that she had talked with Wu after her match against Perth Glory, asking the latter what it was like to be playing in the A-League Women.

"She told me not to think too much, just trying my best," said the footballer.

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