China's run of drawn matches in World Cup Asian qualifying continued when they held hosts Qatar 0-0 in a Group 1 match on Monday.
It was China's third successive draw after sharing the points with Iraq and Australia earlier.
Qatar, who had beaten Iraq at home but lost away to Australia, now have four points and are second in the group behind Australia on seven. China have three from three draws and Iraq are on one from three games.
The Chinese were on the defensive from the start on Monday, with Serb coach Vladimir Petrovic employing six men at the back.
The best chance fell to Qatar two minutes before the end of regulation time when substitute Syed Bechir's header rebounded off the cross bar.
Qatar had been on the attack for most of the second half but they could not translate their supremacy into goals. Uruguayan-born striker Sebastian Soria and Brazilian-born attacking midfielder Fabio Cesar each missed chances.
Qatar's Uruguyan coach Jorge Fossati's decision to leave out Fabio from the starting 11 was surprising after Fabio had scored both their goals against Iraq.
China appeared content to be on the defensive from the start in a match played in searing heat and high humidity.
Fossati said: 'We wanted to win this match but at the same time we were aware that China are a big team so we were cautious too. That was our game plan.
'There was only one real chance in the entire match. Had Syed Bechir's header gone in we would have won.'
Petrovic said: 'I agree that the standard of the match was not up to the mark because perhaps Qatar also didn't want to lose.
'We have only very short time to recover. The return match is on June 7. Qatar might have had the major share of exchanges, but I am sure it will be different when we play in China.'
Ri Un-gyong's 34th minute goal gave DPR Korea a 1-0 victory over China at Army Stadium as they claimed top spot in Group A of the AFC Women's Asian Cup on Sunday.
DPR Korea held the upper hand throughout but were unable to convert their superiority into goals and had to rely on the midfielder's long-range strike to ensure they will face the Group B runners-up in the last four, while China will now face the winners.
A largely uninspiring first period saw chances few and far between as DPR Korea dominated possession but poor distribution in the final third saw them rebuffed by a resolute Chinese defence.
China did suffer a setback after 15 minutes when defender Yuan Fan picked up an injury and was replaced by Lou Jiahui.
DPR Korea then had the first meaningful attempt on goal when Kim Kyong-hwa's corner was nodded back across the face of goal by Ri Kum-suk and keeper Zhang Yanru was forced to tip the ball over the bar.
Xu Yuan then tried her luck from 30 yards just after the half-hour mark but her weak shot dribbled through to Korea keeper Jon Myong-hui.
Kim Kwang-min's side then took the lead in slightly fortuitous circumstances when Bi Yan collided with referee Tammy Ogston when trying to challenge Ri Un-gyong and the midfielder strode forward before hitting a low drive from 30 yards with her left foot that skidded past Zhang and into the back of the net.
China tried to hit back immediately as Bi found Lou Xiaoxu but her shot from the edge of the area was easily gathered by Jon before a defensive slip let in Wang Kun but her weak effort was also failed to extend the DPR Korea keeper.
Kil Son-hui came close to doubling Korea's lead eight minutes after the break but her low strike from distance flew just the wrong side of Zhang's right-hand post.
Song Jong-sun's jinking effort ended in a left-foot effort from 25 yards that Zhang did well to hold before Kim Yong-ae also called the China keeper into action.
Some slick build-up play then saw Jo Yun-mi slip Kim Yong-ae in with just over 15 minutes to go but Zhang stood up well to deny her from an acute angle before Song's attempt from distance flew just over the bar and Ri Un-suk flashed an effort across the face of goal as DPR Korea were forced to settle for a narrow margin of victory.
hina's hopes of breaking into the 2010 World Cup finals were further frustrated by a goalless draw in an away match against Qatar early Tuesday.
The tie put the team in third place within the group, with a total score of three points from three games. Australia leads with seven points, followed by Qatar, with four.
China doesn't pose a real threat to its rivals. Veteran players Sun Jihai and Han Peng contributed all of the team's shots, making them the only effective Chinese players on the pitch.
Qatar missed its best opportunity in the closing minutes of the game when their header was denied by the post.
Qatar and China shared spoils after their third match of the World Cup 2010 qualifying ended in a scoreless draw at the Al Sadd Stadium here yesterday. Qatar were expecting a win at home after their comfortable 2-0 win over Asian champions Iraq in March. But now they find themselves under pressure to perform away at Tianjin in the return leg on June 7.
The result leaves Qatar second in Group A on four points, three adrift of leaders Australia. China stand on three points, while Iraq have only one point after three matches.
Contrary to the hype surrounding the match, performances of the teams remained below expected level in the humid conditions.
Qatar came up with a few sporadic attacks early on but failed to break into the China territory. After first 15 minutes, China grew in confidence and forward Zhu Ting looked threatening on the right flank, while Manchester City midfielder Sun Jihai pulled the strings in the middle.
In the 15th minute, Jihai almost gave the visitors a lead after he was picked out by a cross from Ting. But Jihai’s fine right-footed attempt went wide of Qatar goalkeeper Mohammed Saqr’s far post.
China’s ploy to buy out time in humid conditions received a blow in the 29th minute when goalkeeper Song Jhen Yu was shown yellow card for time wasting.
While Sebastian Soria’s moves were restricted by heavy man-marking, his strike partner Hussain Yasser gave some anxious moments to the Chinese defence. He impressed with his occasional burst of speed down the left but China defended stoutly to keep the former Manchester City at bay.
Yasser sent Qatar close to Chinese goal with a 38th minute free-kick which was headed narrowly wide Marcone Ameral from inside the box. And three minutes later Yasser’s left-footed effort went wide after a deflection of a Chinese defender.
Qatar were under pressure for the remaining few minutes but Jihai missed the target with his volley from inside the penalty area one minute form half time.
Jorge Fossati was a man under pressure but he rallied his troops during the break, as Qatar emerged for the second half with real fire in their belly.
In the 53rd minute, Ibrahim Majid centred a cross from left but Soria, closely checked by Weifeng, was unable to make an attempt on the ball.
Five minutes later, Fossati brought on Fabio Cesar to replace tiring Khalfan Ibrahim. And the Umm Salal playmaker quickly added more verve to Qatar attack, earning a string of set pieces.
He swung in a flag-kick on 62nd minute, forcing a save from Chinese keeper Song Zhen Yu, who tipped away the ball.
Qatar had a great reprieve in the 69th minute when captain Abdulla Koni pulled his muscle just as Han Peng darted into the penalty area. But lanky Al Sadd rearguard Majid did well to throw himself onto Peng’s path, deflecting his shot away for a corner.
With timing running out, Fossati went for more attacking option swapping defender Mesaad al-Hamad with Al Arabi striker Sayed Bashir in the 72nd minute.
The Uruguayan’s gamble almost produced a goal that Qatar were craving in the 88th minute.
Talal al-Bloushi, operating on the right, centred a cross which Bashir met with a header. But unfortunately he was denied by the crossbar and Soria’s attempt on the rebound was saved by Yu.
And soon after Soria stabbed a low shot narrowly wide of Yu’s upright deep into injury time, the referee blew his final whistle.