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2018 World Cup Qualifying: History of China vs. Qatar

CCTV.com

11-15-2016 15:49 BJT

China and Qatar have played nine times before in world cup qualifying. Qatar hold the all-time edge, four wins, three losses, and two draws, but, China did win their most recent encounter, but fans of Team Dragon also recall the 'black three minutes'.

On October 28th, 1989, China faced Qatar in the last group match in Asian zone qualifying for the 1990 Italian World Cup. Ma Lin scored the opening goal for China, and the score remained that way almost until the final whistle. In the last three minutes of the match, Qatar scored twice and defeated the PRC 2-1. Those "black three minutes" denied China a chance to make it to the football showpiece.

In 1997, China was in the final stage of qualifying and were in the same group with Qatar. Team Dragon would have a chance to enter the world cup if it beat the Maroons. Gao Feng, got the hosts off to a good start, scoring the opening goal, but Qatar would score the next three. Fan Zhiyi, would close the gap, but China could not muster anymore and would finish third in the final standings, and failed to enter the 1998 World Cup in France.

Four years later, China was in the same group with Qatar in the final stage of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup slated for South Korea and Japan. China would draw at Qatar 1-1, thanks to Li Weifeng's header in the dying moments. In the reverse fixture, China grabbed a 3-nil home win, the largest ever victory for either side in this series.

On June 7th, 2008, host China faced Qatar in a crucial battle in a qualifying group match. The PRC threatened in the opening stages as Zhu Ting hit the post. But Gao Lin, would be called for fouling a Qatari in the area. And the subsequent penalty kick goal was the difference as the visitors escaped with a 1-nil win. That loss contributing to another failed world cup journey.

In 2015 the nations were also in the same pool in qualifying -- with coach Alain Perrin at the helm, the national team fell 1-nil to Qatar in Doha. That loss put China's chances of advancing to the next stage in jeopardy, and also spelled the end of the Frenchman's time in charge of the team. He would be replaced on an interim basis by former coach, and national team member Gao Hongbo. In China's final match of that round of qualifying Gao led the team to a stunning 2-nil win over Qatar, and a berth in the final stage of Asian Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup

Fans of the national team, Marcello Lippi can take the team even further, and a berth in sport's biggest stage -- but that must start tonight with another victory.

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