Japan, China have goalless draw in men's East Asian Football Championships opener

11:37, February 07, 2010      

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Players compete during the match between China and Japan at the East Asian Football Championship 2010 in Tokyo, capital of Japan, Feb. 6, 2010. The match ended with a draw 0-0. (Xinhua/Hua Yi)

China had a goalless draw with host Japan in the men's East Asian Football Championship opener Saturday, after failing to score a penalty shot in the second half.

China's perfect chance to open the scoring came at the 80th minute, when Japan's Yuto Nagatomo's handball gave the Chinese team a penalty. Yang Hao fired the shot with the right foot, but the ball sailed too straight to be thwarted by the Japanese goalkeeper.

Both sides squandered a few chances to score. Japan's Atsuto Uchida launched a powerful shot from inside the box in the 54th minute. The ball hit the post before it was reflected to the arms of Chinese goalkeeper Yang Zhi.


Jiang Ning (C) of China dribbles the ball during the match between China and Japan at the East Asian Football Championship 2010 in Tokyo, capital of Japan, Feb. 6, 2010. The match ended with a draw 0-0. (Xinhua/Hua Yi)

"It's a pity we had a few chances but didn't score," said Japanese coach Okada Takeshi, adding that "The Chinese side has shown improvement."

A victory over Japan is psychologically important for the Chinese team as they had no win over the rival in 12 years. Japan also looked to clinch three points from underdog China to pave way to the champions' title.

The championships also group South Korea and Hong Kong in the men's competition.

Source: Xinhua
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