Sports updates 23/3/17

China/Syria keeps world cup hopes alive.

Yu Dabao's glancing header in the first half sealed a first victory in the qualification campaign for the side led by Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi.
Victory moved China to within five points of its opponent, which occupies second place in Asian qualifying Group A. The top two teams from Groups A and B qualify, while the third place in each group goes through to a playoff round.
The game, staged in the Hunan province, was played amid tensions over the arrival of a US-built missile defense system in South Korea, in response to the North's continued testing of ballistic missiles.

China opposes the proposed placement of the military hardware known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which it sees as a threat to its own security.
South Korean fans were provided with a police escort to the Helong Stadium, but saw their side squander the few chances it created in the 90 minutes.

Syrian success
Elsewhere, Syria secured a big win over Uzbekistan with an injury-time penalty by Omar Kharbin.

Though it was classed as a home match, the ongoing conflict in Syria meant it was played 4,500 miles away in Malaysia, and only a handful of fans turned up to watch.
Syria sits fourth in the group, three points behind leader Iran and only two behind Korea.
In Group B, leader Saudi Arabia beat Thailand 3-0 in Bangkok, to move three points clear of Australia, which could only draw 1-1 with Iraq.


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