China edge HK 1-0 in Asian qualifier
Talisman Hao Haidong struck with a 70th-minute header to spare China's blushes in a 1-0 win over Hong Kong of China in an Asian World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old Hao, a solid servant for China down the years, nodded home after a corner from skipper Li Weifeng caused confusion in the Hong Kong defence.
China, missing Everton midfielder Li Tie, ruled out for the season with a broken leg, were anxious to avoid a repeat of their 2-1 loss to Hong Kong in May 1985 -- a result that cost them a place at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
The Chinese managed that but they lacked a cutting edge in attack and, when they did forge chances, Hong Kong goalkeeper Fan Chun-yip was in superb form, brilliantly keeping out Manchester City defender Sun Jihai in the 32nd minute.
In the other Group Four match, Kuwait beat Malaysia 2-0 in Kuantan to join Hong Kong on three points.