Bahrain holds China to 2-2 draw

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Bahrain made China pay for their sloppy defence as they held the hosts to a 2-2 draw in the Asian Cup opener.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Bahrain's Mohamed Hubail and Husain Ali Hassain made China pay for their sloppy defence as the soccer minnows held the hosts to a 2-2 draw in the Asian Cup opener. China looked shaky for much of the first half at Beijing and Bahrain struck first when Mohamed Hubail intercepted a pass deep in the Chinese half to loft the ball over the head of goalkeeper Li Jian in the 41st minute. Dutchman Arie Haan's Chinese team shifted tactics and came out attacking in the second half, creating several scoring opportunities. In the 58th minute, China was awarded a penalty for a handball that Zheng Zhi easily converted. A win for China looked secure when eight minutes later, Li Jinyu locked onto a through pass from Shao Jiayi and sent the ball ricocheting off the inside of the left post. Lapsed defence again provided an opportunity for the predatory Bahraini strikers and Hussain Ali Ahmed drove a loose ball past keeper Liu Yunfei just two minutes before fulltime. "We weren't satisfied with our performance in the first half, but we came back reorganised in the second half and took the game to them. It's just too bad about that last goal," Li Jinyu said. (AP)

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