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China's World Cup hope slim after defeat to Syria

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-10-07 07:41 Comments

China's World Cup hope slim after defeat to Syria

Players from China and Syria fight for the ball during a FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualifier in Xi'an, China on Oct 6, 2016. China lost to Syria 1-0 in the game. [Photo/IC] 

The hosts spurned a chance to break the deadlock in the 14th minute as Zhang Yuning broke down the right before sighting Huang Bowen in space just inside the area, but his shot just flew high of the bar.

China earned a promising free kick in the 37th minute when Gao Lin was pulled down, but Zhang Xizhe's shot was parried away by Syria's goalkeeper Ibrahim Alma.

Gao Hongbo replaced midfielder Huang Bowen with Jiang Zhipeng after the break.

Syria went ahead in the 54th minute with a perfect through ball between the two defenders of China from Ahmad Saleh to Mawas who rounded Gu Chao and slotted the ball into the net easily.

China then made one more change as Wu Lei substituted Zhang Yuning.

In a mix-up in the box in the 71st minute, the attempts from Gao Lin and Yang Xu were blocked by the defenders.

The visitors missed the golden opportunity to seal the match in the 73rd minute as Mawas sprinted down the right and squared for Omar Khrbin, but his shot went high in front of an empty net.

In the last minutes, China laid siege to the Syria goal but failed to hit the equalizer.

With one point from three games, China will be against Uzbekistan on October 11.

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