Soccer: Wu late penalty gives China a world draw with Australia.
SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – China’s Wu Lei converted a second-half penalty to draw Australia 1-1 on Tuesday (Nov. 16) as Graham Arnold’s Socceroos finished their third straight game winless in the final . Asian preliminaries round for next year’s World Cup.
The forward sent Mathew Ryan the wrong way 19 minutes to go after VAR stepped in to award the Chinese a penalty when the ball hit James Jeggo in the arm.
Mitchell Duke had put the Australians in front seven minutes before halftime, but the tie means Arnold’s team has not won since defeating Oman in October.
Australia remains in second place in Group B with 11 points from six games, but, with Japan facing Oman later on Tuesday, the Socceroos could give up that position late in the round. Japan has nine points and Oman seven.
China, seeking to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since it debuted in the tournament in 2002, is advancing to five points, but their hopes are fading despite the draw.
Duke gave Australia the lead when he soared over Zhu Chenjie to find a Martin Boyle cross from the right.
Wu had a chance to equalize China when Jeggo’s raised arm made contact with a raised ball in the box and, after checking the court monitor, referee Adham Makhadmeh pointed the spot.
The top two teams in the group will automatically qualify for Qatar 2022, while the third-placed will advance to a playoff round.