Camacho under more pressure after Saudi defeat

Saudi Arabia's Nayef Hazazi (centre) fights to score a goal against Chinese goalkeeper Zeng Cheng during the 2014 World Cup Asian zone qualifier in Dammam on February 7, 2013. (AFP)

Veteran Spanish coach Jose Antonio Camacho's tenure as China boss suffered another blow on Wednesday as his misfiring side were beaten 2-1 away by Saudi Arabia in their opening 2015 Asian Cup qualifier.

The 57-year-old former Spain and Real Madrid handler has come under increasing pressure since China crashed out of World Cup qualifying and losing four friendlies since June last year, including an 8-0 drubbing by Brazil, winning just once.

His Saudi counterpart, compatriot Juan Ramon Lopez Caro, however, will be delighted as his side won in his first competitive game in charge since replacing Frank Rijkaard, who was sacked last month after a poor showing at the Gulf Cup.

The hosts took the lead through Fahad Al Muwallad in the 23rd minute only for China to level six minutes later as Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Zhao Xuri shot home from the edge of the area after being set up by Yu Hanchao.

However, the visitors could not hold out and three-time champions Saudi took the points thanks to a goal by substitute Naif Hazzazi 13 minutes from time.

China have reached the last 10 Asian Cup finals but with 2007 champions Iraq having begun with a 1-0 home win over Indonesia they face a tough task to make it 11 in Australia.

International football friendly results on Wednesday:

At Guimaraes, Portugal
Portugal 2 (Ronaldo 23, Postiga 60) Ecuador 3 (Valencia 3, Pereira 62-og, Caicedo 70)

At Paris
France 1 (Valbuena 44) Germany 2 (Mueller 51, Khedira 74)

At Dublin
Republic of Ireland 2 (Clark 35, Hoolahan 76) Poland 0

At Swansea, Wales
Wales 2 (Bale 21, Vokes 52) Austria 1 (Janko 75)

At Aberdeen, Scotland
Scotland 1 (Mulgrew 39) Estonia 0

At Bruges, Belgium
Belgium 2 (Hazard 11-pen, Mertens 90) Slovakia 1 (Lasik 87)

At Solna, Sweden
Sweden 2 (J. Olsson 17, Elm 90+4) Argentina (Higuain 3, 23, Aguero 19)

At London
England 2 (Rooney 27, Lampard 60) Brazil 1 (Fred 48)

At Amsterdam
Netherlands 1 (Lens 33) Italy 1 (Verratti 90+1)

At Athens
Greece 0 Switzerland 0

At Attard, Malta
Malta 0 Northern Ireland 0

At Skopje
Macedonia 3 (Pandev 8, Ibraimi 17, Noveski 24) Denmark 0

At Manisa, Turkey
Turkey 0 Czech Republic 2 (Krejci 4, Lafata 28)

At Netanya, Israel
Israel 2 (Ben Passat 2, Refaelov 90) Finland 1 (Forsell 86)

At Tirana
Albania 1 (Bogdani 25) Georgia 2 (Vatsadze 41, Dzholchiev 82)

At Belek, Turkey
Hungary 1 (Szabics 33) Belarus 1 (Volodko 59)

At London
Croatia 4 (Mandzukic 31, Srna 40, Jelavic 57, Petric 86) South Korea 0

At Ljubljana
Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 (Ibisevic 33, Pjanic 41, Svraka 80) Slovenia 0

At Sevilla
Norway 0 Ukraine 2 (Morozyuk 17, Yarmolenko 42)

At Doha
Spain 3 (Fabregas 16, Pedro Rodriguez 52, 75) Uruguay 1 (Rodriguez 32)

 

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