China opens Asian Cup with 2-1 victory over Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz players celebrate after they scored during the AFC Asian Cup group C soccer match between China and Kyrgyzstan at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019.

AL AIN, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- With coach Marcello Lippi in charge and needing a bit of help from an own-goal, China came from behind to beat Kyrgyzstan 2-1 Monday at the Asian Cup.

China entered the Asian Cup with one win in seven games, including disappointing draws against Palestine, India and Bahrain.

But five minutes into the second half, Kyrgyzstan goalkeeper Pavel Matiash jumped to handle what seemed to be an easy catch following a corner kick.

Yu Dabao then angled in a left-footer in the 78th minute to ensure the fourth straight victory for China in its Asian Cup opening game and improve its record against Kyrgyzstan to 3-0.

Later Monday, tournament-favorite South Korea plays the Philippines while Iran faces Yemen in Group D.

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