China are in danger of missing out on the 2015 AFC Asian Cup after playing out a goalless draw against Saudi Arabia in Xian.
Defender Zhang Linpeng saw his claims for a penalty waved away late on, while his Guangzhou Evergrande teammate Huang Bowen narrowly missed from a free-kick.
The result leaves Fu Bo’s men in need of victory in a difficult final qualifier away to Iraq, who defeated Indonesia 2-0 in Jakarta to sit within two points of China in Group C.
Uzbekistan, Qatar and Oman, however, have booked their place in the tournament, taking the number of qualified teams to 10. A win over Hong Kong sealed the Uzbeks’ spot, while victories over Syria and Malaysia respectively ensured Oman and Qatar would progress.
Kuwait will also qualify if they beat Thailand, as long as Iran also claim victory. Iran’s match against Lebanon will be played behind closed doors after a bomb blast killed at least 23 people outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut.