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Raul Jimenez shines for Benfica

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By ESPN Staff

Syria and China book places in Asian Cup finals

Syria and China qualified for the 2011 Asian Cup finals after sharing a goalless draw at Yellow Dragon Stadium in Hangzhou.

With Lebanon and Vietnam drawing 1-1 in Saidi, second-placed China remained five points ahead of third-placed Vietnam ahead of the final round of matches with Syria still a point clear at the top of Group D.

China should have claimed a fourth win in five games after their opening defeat in Syria, but Shao Jiayi saw one effort cleared off the line and another hit the crossbar.

At Saida Municipal Stadium, Lebanon claimed a first point of the campaign to deny Vietnam. The home side took the lead as Mahmoud El Ali superbly volleyed home after 20 minutes, but Pham Thanh Luong gave Vitenam hope with an equaliser five minutes before the break.

And Pham should have kept Vietnam's hopes of qualifying alive ahead of the visit of China in the final group game next weekend, but after Lebanon goalkeeper Freije failed to clear a cross, he could not find the empty net. Leaders Syria round off their campaign when they entertain Lebanon on March 3.

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