87th-ranked China have started their 2011 Asian Cup campaign with a solid 2-0 win over 105th-ranked Kuwait at the Al Gharafa Stadium.
Gao Hongbo’s men were served by Guangzhou defender Zhang Linpeng and Shandong Luneng midfielder Deng Zhuoxiang who did the damage with goals in the 58th minute and 66th minutes.
Zhang’s goal came after the Kuwaiti defence failed to clear a corner, allowing the 21-year old to strike from the edge of the area – his shot getting some help from a deflection off Amer Al Fadhel.
Deng added a second less than ten minutes later when he curled a free-kick around the wall and past goalkeeper Nawaf Al Khaldi.
China will now prepare for their second Group A match against Qatar on Wednesday night whilst Kuwait will meet Uzbekistan who beat the hosts 2-0 on Friday night.
2011 Asian Cup – Group A
China: 2 (Zhang Linpeng 58’, Deng Zhuoxiang 66’)
Venue: Al Gharafa Stadium, Doha
Referee: Ben Williams (AUS)