China braves early scare to beat Singapore

Updated: 2011-09-03 07:49

By Tang Zhe (China Daily)

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China braves early scare to beat Singapore

Singapore's goalkeeper Lionel Lewis fails to save a penalty goal by China's Zheng Zhi (2nd R) during their 2014 World Cup Asian qualifying soccer match in Kunming, Yunnan province Sept 2, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

China braves early scare to beat Singapore

China's coach Jose Antonio Camacho Alfaro of Spain reacts during his team's 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifying soccer match against Singapore in Kunming, Yunnan province, Sept 2, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

KUNMING, Yunan - China won Friday at Kunming Tuodong Stadium.

That wasn't a big surprise - China never loses there.

The men's team kicked off 2014 World Cup Asian Zone qualifying with a 2-1 victory over Singapore.

The Chinese team hasn't lost a game on the pitch since 1985, going 8-0-2 over its past ten matches there.

There was, of course, more to the victory than home-field advantage.

China survived an early 1-0 deficit with some gritty play in the clutch, and a healthy dose of luck.

Singapore took the lead in the 33rd minute, when 41-year-old striker Aleksandar Duric found the net after Chinese captain Li Weifeng lost the ball at midfield.

China braves early scare to beat Singapore

Yu Hai from China celebrates scoring a goal against Singapore during their 2014 World Cup Asian Zone qualifier in Kunming, Yunan province on Friday. [Provided to China Daily]

China wasted a chance to equalize in the second half when striker Qu Bo missed a penalty created by teammate Chen Tao in the 57th minute.

Things would get much worse for Singapore.

The home side got another penalty in the 69th minute. Midfielder Zheng Zhi converted the goal, giving China a fresh slate at 1-1.

Three minutes later, Singapore coach Avramovic Radojko was sent off the field for arguing with officials. One minute later, Yu Hai scored another goal for China and sealed the team's first-round-of-20 qualifier.

In other games, the Republic of Korea trashed Lebanon 6-0 at home, with Park Chu-young contributing a hat trick.

Japan secured a 1-0 victory against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with a late goal.

Australia defeated Thailand 2-1.

China will play its second game on Sept 7 in Jordan.

China Daily

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