OLYMPICS / Team China

Chinese men's team scores first Olympic goal, draws with NZ

Updated: 2008-08-07 21:57


Shenyang, Northeast China - China won their first point and scored their first goal in Olympic Games and World Cup as they drew with Olympian debutant New Zealand 1-1 in their Group C match of the men's soccer tournament here on Thursday.


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Dong Fangzhuo, who plays for Manchester United, scored China's first ever Olympic men's soccer goal with two minutes before the final whistle.

China scored none in their only World Cup appearance in 2002 and previous Olympics experience in the 1988 Seoul Games, where they conceded a total of five goals.

New Zealand broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute, when midfielder Craig Henderson chested the ball down near the Chinese box and flicked it to a running Jeremy Brockie, who duly slammed it into the back of the net.

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The first half of the match featured a number of fruitless tit-for-tat attacks and is marred by a series of fouls. New Zealand defense mainstay Steven Old, who plays in the Australian A-League, was sent off after receiving his second yellow card because of a hand ball in the 39th minute.

China started to reinforce offensiveness and overwhelmed the Kiwis in their half. In the 67th minute, forward Jiang Ning got perfect sight of goal. Charlton Athletic playmaker Zheng Zhi crossed the ball from the left, but the chance was denied by New Zealand captain and defender Ryan Nelsen.

New Zealand had chance to score a last minute winner but the ball was skewed wide.

New Zealand's "Oly-Whites" have never qualified for the men's Olympic tournament before but they became the confident qualifier of Oceania with Australia now competing in the Asian confederation.

China will take on Belgium and the Kiwis will meet medal favorite Brazil in their next matches.

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