Corinthians coach praises Chen

Sao Paulo, Jan 21 (IANS) Corinthians coach Tite singled out Chinese midfielder Chen Zhizhao for praise after the Brazilian club began its 2013 campaign with an unconvincing 1-1 draw against Paulista.

Making his first start since his February 2012 move from Shanghai Shenxin, Chen set up his team's only goal with a deft 58th-minute assist to teammate Giovanni Sunday, reports Xinhua.

"He played an important part by setting up the goal and also working hard defensively," Tite said after his team's debut in the 2013 Campeonato Paulista.

"We have to remain calm because he needs to keep working on protecting the ball but I am happy with his development and so is he."

The match was Corinthians' first since winning last month's FIFA Club World Cup in Japan with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea.

Palmeiras also began their Campeonato Paulista campaign on an unimpressive note with a 0-0 draw against Bragantino Sunday. In Rio de Janeiro's Campeonato Carioca, reigning Brazilian Serie A champions Fluminense defeated Nova Iguacu 2-0.

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