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Asian champion Iraq held by China
February 7th, 2008 7AM
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[WORLD CUP QUALIFYING-ASIA] Reigning Asian champion Iraq's World Cup 2010 campaign got off to a disappointing start when it was held to a 1-1 tie with China in its opening group game played Wednesday in Dubai.

Charlton Athletic midfielder Zheng Zhi's late equalizer earned the Chinese a tie. Iraq lost star Younnis Mahmoud with an injury early in the game and playmaker Nashat Akram was sent off with 20 minutes left.

In another surprise, Syria held Iran to a 0-0 tie in Tehran.

Bahrain, North Korea and Uzbekistan were the only teams to win on the road on the first day of group day of group play.

Playing its first qualifier since joining the Asian confederation, Australia easily disposed of Qatar, 3-0, with all three goals coming in the first 33 minutes.

Group 1
Feb. 6
Australia 3 (Kennedy 1, Cahill 18, Bresciano 33) Qatar 0.
Iraq 1 (Hawartheir pen. 51) China 1 (Zheng Zhi 75).

Group 2

Feb. 6
Japan 4 (Endo 21, Okubo 55, Nakazawa 66, Maki 90) Thailand 1 (Teerathep 22).
Oman 0 Bahrain 1 (Hubail 14).

Group 3

Feb. 6
South Korea 4 (Kwak 43, Seol 57, 83, Park Si-Jung 70) Turkmenistan 0.
Jordan 0 North Korea 1 (Hong 44).

Group 4

Feb. 6
Lebanon 0 Uzbekistan 1 (Ahmedov 45).
Saudi Arabia 2 (Al Kahtani 38, Al Hawsawi 81) Singapore 0.

Group 5

Feb. 6
Iran 0 Syria 0.
United Arab Emirates 2 (Al Shehhi 14, Khalel 53) Kuwait 0.



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