Vitesse’s Zhang Yuning set a milestone on Sunday by becoming the first Chinese player to score in the Eredivisie, the highest Dutch soccer level.
The 19-year-old striker, who came on a substitute in the 88th minute for Vitesse at Roda JC Kerkrade, became match winner in injury time. Zhang Yuning headed in a cross by Guram Kashia to hand his team a 2-1 victory.
Zhang Yuning, who played for Gangzhou Greentown in China, signed a two-year deal at Vitesse in the summer of 2015, after several trials in Arnhem in recent years.
The Chinese youth international started in the reserves of Vitesse, but made his debut in the first team on February 13 as a substitute against Heerenveen. With that performance he became the third Chinese in the Eredivisie after Yu Hai (Vitesse, 2006-2008) and Sun Xiang (PSV, 2006-2007).
Zhang Yuning produced his first Eredivisie goal in his fourth match. The Chinese was the 100th nationality to score in the Eredivisie.
“An amazing feeling to score in the last minute,” Zhang Yuning told Dutch national broadcaster NOS. “The cross by Kashia was perfect. I only had to touch the ball.”
“I still need to improve a lot,” he added. “But I am more confident now and I need that.”
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