China survived a scare against Singapore before getting their 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign off to a winning start in front of new manager Jose Antonio Camacho.
Second-half goals from ex-Charlton man Zheng Zhi and Yu Hai secured a 2-1 win in Kunming, saving former Spain and Real Madrid coach Camacho from an opening defeat after the visitors took a shock lead.
Prolific striker Aleksandar Duric capitalised on a break to put Singapore in front on 33 minutes, but the arrival of Zheng from the bench in the 67th minute swung the game in favour of the Chinese.
Qu Bo had a penalty saved by Singapore's Lionel Lewis on 59 minutes, but Zheng was given the opportunity to level the scores from the spot just ten minutes later, when Yu Dabao was upended in the area.
The former Charlton Athletic and Celtic midfielder made no mistake with what was virtually his first touch after coming on to replace Huang Bowen in the 67th minute, giving Lewis no chance with a perfectly executed penalty.
Tensions flared between the teams and Singapore manager Raddy Avramovic was sent from the bench. But with 12 minutes remaining Zheng was again involved in the move that delivered a winning start for the Chinese in Group A, where they will also face 2007 Asian champions Iraq and Jordan.
Yu Dabao saw his effort saved at point-blank range by Lewis, only for the ball to fall kindly for Yu Hai who gratefully snapped up the chance.