China defeated by Saudi Arabia 2-1 at Asian Cup qualifiers
RIYADH - China suffered a 2-1 away loss to Saudi Arabia in their first game at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers on Wednesday.
China'sXu Bo, left, and Zhao Xuri, right, defend against a Saudi Arabian player during their 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Feb 6, 2013. [Photo/CFP]
Fhad Almuwallad opened the scoring for the hosts in the 23rd minute from a clumsy error by midfielder Qin Shen in their own half. The speedy striker received a clinic through pass in the box before stabbing home with a small angle shot.
Zhao Xuri levelled for China 6 minutes later with a cool drive after an in-form Yu Hanchao weaving into the area before cutting back a wicked pass. Zhao also had a powerful shot against the crossbar before the equalizer.
Substitute forward Naif Hazazi took the winner in the 77th minute with a close range half-volley at the near post following a right wing cross.
Jose Antonio Camacho brought on attackers Yu Dabao, Yang Xu and Chen Tao in the last few minutes, and the guests created two good chances at the conclusion stage, only to find Gao Lin and Yang Xu's shots were blocked by the Saudi defenders and goalkeeper.
Saudi Arabia now lead Group C with three points, Iraq takes the second seat after a win over Indonesia, while China and Indonesia ranked the 3rd and 4th respectively.
Zhao Xuri, left, of China controls the ball during the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Feb 6, 2013. [Photo/CFP]