SINGAPORE: China beat Singapore 2-1 in a Group A clash in the 2014 World Cup third-round qualifier at high altitude in Kunming on Friday.
But it was the visitors who scored first, as Singapore's Aleksandar Duric took advantage of a defensive slip by the Chinese defence to give the Lions the lead in the 32nd minute.
China missed a penalty in the 56th minute, but converted another spot kick in the 69th minute and three minutes later were on target again to give them a 2-1 advantage.
It was tough for Singapore, with the Chinese playing at home in a stadium which is 1,900 metres above sea level.
The thin air makes it more difficult for players, but Singapore ensured they were not disadvantaged by this.
The Lions went there a week earlier to get acclimatised and that helped them to last the distance.
And kudos to how the visitors played. The Lions did not let the Chinese team, who played in the 2002 World Cup, affect their play.
Veteran player Aleksandar Duric, who at 41 years old still has the stamina and killer instincts, scored in the 32nd minute.
The Chinese, led by their new coach - former Spanish and Real Madrid manager Jose Camacho - finally got their act together late in the match.
To be fair they had a few chances but the post saved Singapore on two occasions.
In the end the Chinese played to their potential, but Singapore can take hope in their gutsy performance in Kunming.
It's not the end yet, as five more matches await the Singapore boys, the next one will be against Iraq at the Jalan Besar Stadium next Tuesday.
The Lions return to Singapore on Saturday and do not have much time to prepare for Tuesday's encounter.
But fans can expect another cracker of a game, especially with the Lions playing at home.