Costa Rica edges past China 2-0

Ronald Gomez and Mauricio Wright score second-half goals to lift Costa Rica to a 2-0 win over World Cup newcomer China.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Gwangju, South Korea:

Ronald Gomez and Mauricio Wright scored second-half goals Tuesday to lift Costa Rica to a 2-0 win over World Cup newcomer China in the opening match for both teams. Gomez scored in the 61st minute and Wright added another four minutes later as the Costa Ricans grabbed three points to join Brazil atop Group C. The Chinese showed discipline but little flair in their first-ever World Cup appearance. China the lowest ranked of all the teams in the World Cup finals at 57 is led by coach Bora Milutinovic, the Yugoslav national who coached five different teams in the tournament. Gomez, who plays professionally at Greece's OFI Crete, picked up a rebound outside the penalty box and flicked a shot over the head of goalkeeper Jin Jiang. Minutes later, Wright used an individual move to beat his defender. Gomez had a second opportunity near the end, but his shot was cleared off the line by a Chinese defender. The match at South Korea's Gwagnju stadium pitted Milutinovic against one of his former teams. He led Costa Rica to the World Cup and a second round appearance in Italy in 1990. Costa Rica coach Alexandre Guimaraes was the team captain under Milutinovic. Under Guimaraes, Costa Rica returned to the World Cup after an impressive qualifying run in CONCACAF, finishing first, ahead of the United States and Mexico. In the other Group C match, four-time champion Brazil defeated Turkey 2-1 on Monday. China meets Brazil on Saturday and Costa Rica faces Turkey on Sunday. (AP) Lineups:China: 22-Jin Jiang, 4-Wu Chengying, 5-Fan Zhiyi (Yu Genwei, 74), 7-Sun Jihai(Qu Bo, 26), 8-Li Tie, 9-Ma Mingyu (c), 10-Hao Haidong, 14-Li Weifeng, Li Xiaopeng, 20-Yang Chen (Su Maozhen, 66), 21-Xu Yunlong Costa Rica: 1-Erick Lonnis (c), 3-Luis Marin, 4-Mauricio Wright, 5-Gilberto Martinez, 7-Rolando Fonseca (Hernan Medford, 57), 8-Mauricio Solis, 9-Paulo Wanchope (Wilmer Lopez, 80), 10-Walter Centeno, 11-Ronald Gomez, 15-Harold Wallace (Steven Bryce, 70), 22-Carlos Castro Referee: Kyros Vassaras (Greece)