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China Beat Palestine 2-0 in Soccer Asian Cup Qualifying
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Du Wei and Li Weifeng each scored as injury-plagued China beat group E opponents Palestine 2-0 at home in their first Asian Cup qualifier in Guangzhou on Wednesday.

Forward Du opened scoring for hosts when he headed in a corner from midfielder Tao Wei in the 2rd minute and their captain Li doubled the edge in the 62nd minute.

The game was China's first major win under Zhu Guanghu, who took over from the sacked ex-coach Arie Hann last March.

Although Chinese apparently controlled the field throughout they squandered opportunities including a Dong Fangzhuo's penalty in 66th minute, which was saved by the Palestinian keeper.

But Dong, a most promising Chinese youngster who plays for Belgian second division side Antwerps, was still one of the most brilliant players with his persistent run and good position.

His superb solo run and delicate pass contributed to Li's header in the second half, which sealed the 2-0 victory.

"We might have some problems but the most important thing is that we've got the three points," said Du Wei when being questioned for China's lackluster attacking.

"Now we have to concentrate on our next match. We will play away and that makes things difficult," he said.

China will then meet Iraq on March 1st and the game has been forced to be held in the United Arab Emirates because of Iraqi unsteady domestic political situation.

The Chinese squad was playing against Palestine without some key players including injured forwards Xie Hui and Li Jinyu.

Playmaker Zheng Zhi was also absent for a three-match suspension by the Asian Football Confederation.
(Xinhua News Agency February 23, 2006)

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