3 Sep 2011

China win controversial World Cup qualifier

6:38 am on 3 September 2011

Winger Yu Hai scored the winner as China came from behind to beat visitors Singapore 2-1 in a heated World Cup football third round qualifier.

Hosting the match 1,900 metres above sea level in Kunming, China fell behind to a goal from 41-year-old striker Aleksandr Duric in the 33rd minute.

China, managed by former Spain boss Jose Camacho, then missed the chance to level on 58 minutes when Singapore's substitute goalkeeper Lionel Lewis saved a penalty from Qu Bo.

The hosts made no mistake with their second penalty just over 10 minutes later, awarded when Yu Dabao went down in the box although television replays suggested he was lunging for the ball rather than being pulled back.

Zheng Zhi slotted home from the spot, while Yu Hai completed the comeback four minutes later when he prodded in a rebound after Lewis had saved a shot from Yu Dabao.

Frustration bubbled in the Singapore camp at what they saw as two dubious penalty decisions with coach Raddy Avramovich given his marching orders after 71 minutes for protesting too much.

They were angered even further when Duric was brought down in the box but no penalty was given.

Singapore players surrounded Lebanese referee Andre El Haddad after the final whistle gesturing with their hands and shouting with winger Qiu Li then shown a yellow card.

The match rounded off a bad week for Singapore who were forced to play without their top midfielder Hariss Harun, who is doing his National Service.

Singapore entertain Iraq on Tuesday, while China travel to Jordan in their next Group A game on the same day.

China are aiming for only their second World Cup appearance.