China smashed six second-half goals past Laos on Saturday to put one foot in the third round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Lowly Laos gave the home team some nervy moments at Kunming's Tuodong Stadium when strikes from Soukaphone Vongchiengkham and Visay Phaphouvanin put the visitors two-up after 31 minutes.
But substitute Yang Xu hit back on the stroke of half-time, and it set off an avalanche of goals in the second period as he added two more, with Chen Tao scoring a double off the bench and two late strikes from midfielder Hao Junmin.
China will now be confident of progressing after Thursday's second leg to the penultimate stage of Asian qualifying, when big guns Japan, Australia and South Korea enter the competition, along with Bahrain and North Korea.
Singapore host Malaysia in a Southeast Asian grudge match later Saturday, while Saudi Arabia and Iran are expected to continue their march to the 2014 finals when they entertain Hong Kong and Maldives respectively.
Improving India, who have never played in football's showpiece, are quietly confident of causing problems to the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam will face Qatar.
Other ties on Saturday are Lebanon v Bangladesh, Turkmenistan v Indonesia, Kuwait v Philippines, Oman v Myanmar, Syria v Tajikistan, Iraq v Yemen, Uzbekistan v Kyrgyzstan and Jordan v Nepal.
The second legs will be played on July 28, ahead of a glitzy draw for the third-round group stage which takes place in Brazil on July 30.