One lucky ballboy at the Asian Cup was given a special treat by the China national team on Monday, as he was invited to a training session to meet all the players - he certainly deserved his day in the sun though.
Stephan White endeared himself to the Chinese team at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, which was the setting for their surprise 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia on Saturday in the opening round of Group B fixtures.
Despite only being a ballboy, 12-year-old White was instrumental in the victory. The moment that secured his fame came just after the hour mark when forward Naif Hazazi was felled in the penalty area illegally by Ren Hang, forcing the referee to point to the spot.
Saudi Arabia are supposedly the superior side and a goal up with a little under 30 minutes remaining could well have been the match. However, China put their secret weapon in play and, just before Hazazi was about to despatch the penalty, goalkeeper Wang Dalei turned around.
Behind his goal was sat the aforementioned ballboy and Wang asked him which way he thought he should dive for the kick. Stephan pointed left, Wang went that way and the kick was saved. Watch the moment below…
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The Brisbane native couldn't believe it and the Chinese number one thanked his young assistant after the match, which was eventually won with ten minutes remaining thanks to a deflected free-kick. Wang was eventually named Man of the Match, but we all know who really deserved it.
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