Wang Yongpo (top) of China kicks the ball during the World Cup football qualifying match against South Korea in Changsha, China's central Hunan province on March 23, 2017. / AFP / STR
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Marcello Lippi's China stunned South Korea 1-0 in a politically charged World Cup qualifier Thursday to give themselves a glimmer of hope of reaching next year's tournament in Russia. Yu Dabao stooped unmarked to head in the game's only goal on 34 minutes, prompting rapturous celebrations as China registered their first win in the final group qualifying stage. Yu's goal was China's first in qualifying since September – spanning some 407 minutes of football – and handed them only their second win over the Koreans in 32 attempts. In late games in the Gulf, Iran edged Qatar 1-0 to open a four-point lead over South Korea while Japan beat the United Arab Emirates 2-0 to move into an automatic qualifying spot.Iran now have 14 points from six matches virtually assuring them a spot in Russia, while South Korea are second on 10 and Uzbekistan on nine, with Qatar right at the bottom on four, having lost four of their games so far.
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