China rallies for 2-1 win over Singapore
China overcame a half-time deficit to beat Singapore 2-1 in their World Cup qualifier on Friday, giving new coach Jose Antonio Camacho a win in his first competitive game in charge.
Singapore went ahead in the 33rd minute through 41-year-old forward Aleksandar Duric and held that advantage until the break.
China had to wait until the 69th minute to equalize, when Zheng Zhi scored from the penalty spot, and winger Yu Hai scored what proved the winner in the 73rd minute.
Yu said Camacho's coaching was decisive and courageous, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
The former Spain coach is tasked with rapidly improving China's poor standing in the world's most popular sport. China has only qualified for the World Cup once, in 2002, and is currently ranked 69th in the world.
The 56-year-old former Real Madrid defender said qualifying for 2014 ''won't be an easy task, but my team and I are working towards this goal.''
Camacho played more than 80 times for Spain, including in two World Cups. He also managed Spain's national team for four years, reaching the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup.
The other two teams in Group A, Iraq and Jordan were to play later Friday.
China now travels to Jordan for their next group game on Wednesday, while Singapore will host Iraq.