The Chinese national soccer team had failed in seven previous attempts but on this day in soccer history in 2001 the Asian country qualified for their first FIFA World Cup finals after defeating Oman 1-0 in Asian Zone group B qualifier.
The architect behind the push to the FIFA World Cup was none other than globetrotter Bora Milutinovic but known only as ‘Milu’ the Chinese faithful.
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The dull match played in front of 60,000 fans in the northeastern industrial city of Shenyang in a cold drizzle was sealed by midfielder Yu Genwei in the 37th minute.
China joined Ecuador, Senegal, and Slovenia as first time qualifiers. Bora was not able to work his magic in Korea and Japan by getting the Chinese to the knockout phase. China ended with no wins in three matches conceding 9 goals and scoring 0. They were in what turned out to be the tough Group C, however, which included the winners Brazil and third place finisher Turkey.
1920 – Jack Rowley, English footballer (d. 1998)
1921 – Raymond Goethals, Belgian football coach (d. 2004)
1964 – Paul Stewart, English footballer
1973 – Dida, Brazilian footballer
1973 – Sami Hyypiä, Finnish footballer
1976 – Santiago Solari, Argentinian footballer
1976 – Gilberto Silva, Brazilian footballer
1982 – Madjid Bougherra, Algerian footballer
1982 – Jermain Defoe, English footballer
1986 – Lee Nguyen, American Soccer player
1986 – Gunnar Nielsen, Faroese footballer
1987 – Jeremy Brockie, New Zealand footballer