BEIJING (Reuters) – Asian Cup finalists China continued their encouraging form under Alain Perrin as they beat Paraguay 2-1 in a home friendly on Tuesday to record their first win over the South Americans.
Captain and AFC player-of-the-year Zheng Zie opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the ninth minute after sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, with Wu Lei converting a second at the back post in the 18th minute.
Nestor Ortigoza pulled one back for Paraguay in the 82nd minute with a header at the back post but Perrin’s side hung on for the morale-boosting win in Changsa, south-central China.
The 2004 Asian Cup runners-up have lost only once in seven games since the French coach took charge with wins coming over Macedonia, Kuwait and Thailand as they continue preparations for January’s edition.
They have been drawn in Group B of the 16-team tournament in Australia along with Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.