France 0-1 China: Les Bleus stunned by late Deng Zhuoxiang strike in World Cup 2010 warm-up

A famous win for the Great Wall side...

France stumbled once more in their build up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by losing 1-0 to underdogs China in Saint-Pierre, Reunion.

Shandong Luneng midfielder Deng Zhuoxiang scored just his second international game with fifteen minutes left to sink Raymond Domenech's side, who were still reeling from a 1-1 draw with Tunisia on Sunday.

The French deployed a strong side, with a near-enough first choice lineup including such stars as Franck Ribery, Florent Malouda, and Patrice Evra. Thierry Henry, however, only began from the bench.

Gao Hongbo's China side, meanwhile, were without such regulars as Zheng Zhi and Cao Yang, while Hao Junmin and Shao Jiayi were omitted due to the recent end of the European season.

Within one minute it seemed that the favourites were going to emerge as winners, Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka linking up well for a close-range effort that was cleared by the goalkeeper.

In fact the first ten minutes were all France, with Ribery looking especially active, but with 'keeper Zeng Cheng having relatively little to do.

Fifteen minutes in the French had the ball in the net, William Gallas tapping home after a corner, but with the 'keeper off his line and just one defender on the post, the defender was correctly ruled outside.

The Chinese were countering mainly down the flank, but to little effect, with a lack of teamplay and final ball putting paid to any ambitions of a first half goal.

Chinese burn | French slip up against Asian opposition


Half time came and went with the French making one early change, Bakari Sagna leaving for Anthony Reveillere, and started brightly once more as Ribery crossed for Gallas, who this time could only kick at thin air.

Shortly after the hour mark Andre-Pierre Gignac, Abou Diaby and Thierry Henry came on for Ribery, Malouda and Anelka in a bid to freshen up the occasion, but from here the Chinese improved.

Indeed, just five minutes after the changes, China scored. Deng Zhouxiang rocketed a 25-yard free-kick with plenty of swerve past Hugo Lloris to net against the overall run of play.

France attempted to fight back, Reveillere using his pace to hit the by-line and cut a ball across goal for Sidney Govou, but Zeng was able to parry and then hold Thierry Henry's follow-up.

Andre-Pierre Gignac closed the match by staking a claim for a starting spot in the French side with a series of efforts, but China were able to hold on for a famous win.

France travel shortly to South Africa to complete their World Cup preparations in time to meet Uruguay on Friday. China, meanwhile, have no matches confirmed until November, when they meet Latvia in a friendly.

Deng Zhuoxiang's winning free-kick can be seen here.

Highlights of France-China can be seen here.

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