Next up for Halep is another 19-year-old youngster, Iga Swiatek of Poland, whom Halep defeated in the round of 16 here last year.
One suspects that Messi, who will be 35 when the next edition of football's showpiece tournament begins, will be a man on a mission during these qualifiers as he seeks to enhance his own legacy and end Argentina's nearly three-decade wait for major silverware.
Amaju Pinnick, the NFF president, said with the appointment of a new head coach, he's confident that the new technical crew would take the women's team to brand new heights.
The Schalke coach promised to find a way to develop strategies to revitalize his players' confidence.
"We played a little tight at the start. We improved later in the match, and showed our character," said Zhejiang coach Gu Jiaqing.
Xinjiang began to take charge of the game back from the locker room on the way to a 19-point advantage after the third quarter.
"Gerhard is a bright coach, and we're very pleased to welcome him to the club," said the team's head of sport Kevin Thelwell. "Gerhard's playing style and experience in youth development align with our philosophy and above all, as a person he fits into our culture. We look forward to him getting here and working together to achieve the goals we have set as a club."
Mohamed Salah scored twice for Liverpool, but that was scant consolation as Liverpool became the first reigning champion to concede seven goals since 1953.
World 5,000m champion Obiri maintained her unbeaten streak this season by winning the women's race in 15:06.36.
Meanwhile, Sport Recife won 2-1 at Bahia, their third successive Serie A victory. Hernane and Marcao were on the scoresheet for the visitors while Matheus Saldanha netted for Bahia.
The visitors from Poprad did not put on an offensive show either, but scored twice, which was sufficient for earning their first victory of the season.