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China rallies to hold Australia in FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-11-17 09:35
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Wu Lei (L) of China celebrates during a Group B match between China and Australia of 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates, on Nov 16, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

SHARJAH, UAE - Wu Lei scored from a spot kick as China came back from one goal down to hold Australia 1-1 in the final round of 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers here on Tuesday.

The result lifted Australia to 11 points, five adrift of Group B leader Saudi Arabia, who beat Vietnam 1-0 earlier on Tuesday, while China's tally of five points means it still has an arduous task ahead with four games remaining.

Both teams had several chances in the early stages but it was Australia who broke the deadlock in the 38th minute when Mitchell Duke headed home after a cross from Martin Boyle.

China's center back Jiang Guangtai suffered from a thigh injury and had to be substituted by Wang Gang right before halftime.

Wu equalized for China in the 70th minute with a penalty kick after a VAR check on James Jeggo's handball inside the box.

China will next face Japan away on January 27, 2022 in the remaining final round of 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers. 

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