Al-Gharafa Stadium

Attendance: 7423

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  • Linpeng Zhang 57'
  • Deng Zhuoxiang 67'

Zhuoxiang seals victory

China got their Asian Cup campaign off to the ideal start with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Kuwait at Al Gharafa Stadium.

Both sides had chances in the first half but the sending-off of Musaed Neda in the 35th minute turned the match in China's favour and they sealed the points with second-half goals from Zhang Linpeng and Deng Zhuoxiang to move alongside Uzbekistan on three points in Group B.

Gao Hongbo's side settled quicker than their opponents and enjoyed all the attacking play in the opening five minutes, with Qu Bo seeing his header from Yang Xu's cross deflected wide by a defender.

Kuwait's first chance, meanwhile, came in the eighth minute when Yousef Naser got a touch to Jarah Al Ateeqi's low cross at the near post but the ball flew wide, much to the relief of China keeper Yang Zhi.

Minutes later the Gulf nation were perhaps understandably aggrieved after they were denied what appeared to be a clear penalty when Du Wei took the legs of Bader Al Mutawa inside the area, but the referee waved away the protests.

However, keeper Nawaf Al Khaldi kept his side level with a superb save in the 20th minute when Qu latched onto a fine crossfield pass from midfield and took one touch to control before unleashing a stinging drive that the Kuwait skipper did well to push away for a corner.

But the Kuwaitis' task was made harder 10 minutes before the break as Neda was sent off after flicking his boot at the body of Yang Xu following a tussle for possession between the two.

They picked themselves up though to finish the half strongly as first Fahad Al Enezi shot wide before Hussain Fadhel failed to direct his shot goalwards from Al Mutawa's free-kick.

Kuwait continued to threaten after the restart as another Al Mutawa free-kick needed Yang to produce a save right on the goal-line.

However, they were punished for not making the most of their opportunities when China took the lead just before the hour. A corner was cleared only as far as Zhang and the defender drove in a shot that took a deflection off Fadhel to leave keeper Al Khaldi stranded.

And the game was put beyond Kuwait in the 67th minute when Deng delivered a fine free-kick into the back of the net after substitute Hao Junmin had been fouled just outside the area.

Scoring Summary

  • Kuwait
  • China

Match Stats

  • Kuwait
  • China
0(0) Shots (on goal) 0(0)
0 Fouls 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Offsides 0
0% Time of Possession 0%
2 Yellow Cards 1
1 Red Cards 0
0 Saves 0


  • Kuwait
  • China
Junmin Hao for Bo Qu (46')
Jianye Liu for Zhao Peng (58')
Tao Yu for Xuri Zhao (77')
Yellow Cards
Bo Qu (33')
Red Cards