SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — In a high-stakes, must-win game to have any chance of getting to Qatar in 2022, China beat group-leading Syria 3-1 on Tuesday to advance to the third round in Asian qualifying for the World Cup.
Syria had already confirmed its place among the final 12 as one of the eight group winners and China’s win secured progression as one of the four best-performing runners-up.
Zhang Xizhe scored two minutes before the break and second-half goals from Wu Lei and Zhang Yuning sealed China’s fourth consecutive win. China’s only World Cup appearance was in 2002, when Japan and South Korea co-hosted soccer’s marquee tournament in Asia for the first time.
The third round of qualifying starts in September.