China beat Lebanon on controversial goals

BEIRUT: China beat Lebanon on controversial goals Saturday in the Group D of 2011 Asian Cup qualifier.

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China's Du Wei (C) fights with Lebanon's Hassan Maatouk (L) as China's Zhao Peng (R) looks on during their 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifier match in Beirut November 14, 2009.

With two controversial goals, the match was almost ended prematurely as fans were provoked to insult the referee.

The moment came in the 72nd minute, when China's forward Qu Bo scored, which was suspected of a hand ball. After consulting with the assistant referees for two minutes, the referee from the United Arab Emirates judged the goal positive.

About 2,000 Lebanese fans who came to the Beirut Municipal Stadium to watch the game were provoked to shout "unfair" of the judgment, insulting the referee with dirt Arab words, which made the referee suspend the game.

The referee answered the audience with microphone, saying that he will end the match unless the fans get out of the stadium, or being exiled out by the riot police. However, the audience responded with louder noise.

The match started again after almost ten minutes as the officials from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) mediated between the audience and the referee.

The stadium quieted down afterwards and the fans were so disappointed with the referee and their team's performance than some left the stadium before the game ended.

China's Celtic midfielder Zheng Zhi later wasted a penalty kick created by Qu in the 83rd minute.

The 2-0 result gained China three points, but China can only settle in the second place in the Group with six points in total. Syria stand at the first place with three victories out of three matches.

The first goal came from China's Yu Hai in the 44th minute. Yu volleyed the ball into the net at the right corner of penalty area, which might be scored in an offside position.

Lebanese players complained to the referee and their captain Roda Antar was yellow carded.

"I think the referee made two mistakes, which led to two goals for China," said Emile Rustom, Lebanese head coach. "The referee helped Chinese win the match."

When asked by a Lebanese journalist about the comments made by Lebanon coach. China's coach Gao Hongbo answered "a professional soccer coach never questions referees' performance".

The whole match was deprived of fluency by the bad condition of the pitch.

Lebanon's best chance came at the 37th minute, but Haatouk shot the ball wide.

"Chinese did well in the match, but we did not grab our limited chances, so how can we win the match," Said Rustom.

The two sides will play again next week in China.