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People's Daily Online>>China Society

China keeps faint 2014 hopes alive

(Shanghai Daily)

09:36, November 16, 2011

China's Yu Hai (left) scores the opening goal against Singapore during their 2014 World Cup Asian qualifier in Singapore yesterday. China won 4-0.

CHINA won 4-0 away to Singapore yesterday to keep alive its very faint hopes of progressing in 2014 World Cup qualifying.

Despite the victory, China must rely on Iraq losing its two remaining games - away to Jordan later yesterday then at home against already-eliminated Singapore - otherwise it is out.

China dominated play from the beginning and broke through in the 42nd minute through striker Yu Hai.

Singapore's best chance came when veteran striker Aleksandar Duric hit the crossbar in the 53rd minute. China quickly responded with captain Li Weifeng scoring with a header from a corner in the 56th minute.

China played with just 10 players from the 67th minute after Huang Bowen was sent off for taking a swing at Singapore's Mustafic Fahrudin.

However, China continued to control the game as defender Zheng Zheng finished the scoring with goals in the 73rd and 82nd minutes.

Also, North Korea beat Japan 1-0 in a tempestuous World Cup qualifier, the result largely academic with the visiting Blue Samurai already through to the final qualifying round for 2014.

Pak Nam-chol headed the winner in the 50th minute, and the final whistle sparked wild celebrations at Pyongyang's Kim Il-sung stadium despite the fact North Korea had already been eliminated.

"We didn't do anything right for 90 minutes," Japan defender Yasuyuki Konno said. "They dominated us. We were pathetic."

Fractious match

Japan's national anthem was drowned out by boos before a fractious Group C match. Japan's players had received a typically frosty welcome on landing at Pyongyang on Monday. They were detained at customs for four hours while airport officials combed through their luggage.

Although a dead rubber, tempers frayed after Pak's goal with Jong Il-gwan being sent off for a second bookable offence in the 77th minute after a nasty tackle on Atsuto Uchida.

Asian champion Japan, which has 10 points from five matches, lost for the first time in 17 games under Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni.

"They were very physical and made it very difficult," the Italian said. "North Korea had failed to qualify for the last round so this will be some consolation for them."

In Bangkok, Australia booked its place in the final round of Asian qualifying by winning 1-0 away to Thailand.

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