China move into Asian Cup quarters

A 2-1 win over Uzbekistan seals progress from Group B; Saudia Arabia come from a goal down to beat North Korea.

    With the win, China has topped Group B with six points [EPA]
    With the win, China has topped Group B with six points [EPA]

    China secured an Asian Cup quarterfinal spot when it beat Uzbekistan 2-1.

    China tops Group B with six points from two games and, with Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia each on three points and clashing in the last of the preliminaries, is assured of progressing to the knockout stage.

    Uzbekistan opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when Odil Ahmedov cut in from the left, steadied, and fired in a right foot shot from 25 yards which deflected off China defender Wu Xi and looped inside the far past.

    Wu made up for it when he equalised in the 55th and Sun Ke, who went on in the 66th, made an angled run from the left two minutes later and sealed the comeback win with a strike from the edge of the area.

    Saudi Arabia beat North Korea

    Earlier, Mohammed Al Sahlawi scored twice in two minutes to lead Saudi Arabia back from a one-goal deficit to a 4-1 win over North Korea.

    Midfielder Ryang Yong Gi opened the scoring in the 11th minute, pouncing on a failed clearance by Saudi goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah and firing the ball into the back of the net for North Korea's first Asian Cup goal since 1992.

    Striker Naif Hazazi equalised in the 37th when he completed a sweeping passing play that bamboozled the North Korean defence.

    Al Sahlawi put Saudi Arabia in front in the 52nd when he positioned himself inside the box to finish off a long Abdulla Aldossary pass. The striker claimed the simplest of goals two minutes later when Guk came out of his goal, allowing Al Sahlawi to tap the ball into the empty net.

    Ri Yong Jik was sent off in the 77th after his intentional handball saved an almost certain goal, and man-of-the-match Nawaf Albid sealed the win when he put in the rebound of his subsequent spot kick.

    SOURCE: AP


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