Doha: China were held 0-0 by Tajikistan in their opening game of the Asian Cup on Saturday after a VAR intervention.
Zhu Chenjie thought he had headed in an undeserved winner for China with 10 minutes remaining in Doha when he rose to nod in from a corner.
But he and his teammates were left befuddled when VAR disallowed it, ruling former England youth defender Tyias Browning was interfering with play as he lurked on the goal-line in an offside position.
China could consider themselves lucky to get even a point from the match, having weathered Tajik pressure for most of it.
China were largely outplayed by the world's number 106th-ranked team, who created numerous chances on their tournament debut but could not finish.
As the game entered its closing stages China showed some life, but Zhu's header was their last real chance.
At the final whistle boos from the China fans rang out around the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium.
Next up for China is Lebanon, while Tajikistan face a tough test against the hosts.