Action galore across Asia
Kuala Lumpur: It was another busy night of international friendlies as Asian teams continued their preparations on Tuesday for the second round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Joint Qualification.
The-AFC.com reviews the action which saw wins for China PR, Myanmar, Chinese Taipei, Jordan and Uzbekistan while Korea Republic and Islamic Republic of Iran played to an entertaining 1-1 draw.
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KOREA REPUBLIC 1-1 IR IRAN
Seoul: Korea Republic and Islamic Republic of Iran played to a 1-1 draw in a meeting between two of the Continent's giants at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
Hwang Ui-jo opened the scoring in the 57th minute, but Kim Young-gwon's own goal five minutes later evened the score.
Korea Republic have not beaten IR Iran - Asia's top ranked side - in their last six meetings now, with Hwang's goal their first against the Central Asians in that span.
New head coach Marc Wilmots will be happy with his team's performance, the draw coming after IR Iran had defeated Syria 5-0 on Thursday in his first match in charge.
Korea Republic won't be too disturbed not to have won, as they finished the international break unbeaten after having defeated Australia 1-0 on Friday.
CHINA PR 1-0 TAJIKISTAN
Guangzhou: China PR made it two wins in a row for Marcello Lippi as they defeated Tajikistan 1-0 at the Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou.
Xu Yang's 10th minute strike made the difference as Lippi, back as China PR head coach after having stepped down following the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, builds his squad for the Asian Qualifiers.
China PR had kicked off Lippi's second stint with a 2-0 win over Philippines on Friday.
SINGAPORE 1-2 MYANMAR
Singapore: Kyaw Ko Ko struck twice as Myanmar defeated Singapore 2-1 at the National Stadium.
In a meeting between two Southeast Asian sides with new head coaches - Tatsuma Yoshida for Singapore and Miodrag Radulovic for Myanmar - the match saw a feisty start.
Myanmar took the lead in the fifth minute after some excellent combination play between Aung Thu and Kyaw on a counter attack.
Singapore equalised through Gabriel Quak in the 24th minute but Kyaw had the final word, scoring the winner in the 68th minute after he beat the home team's offside trap.
HONG KONG 0-2 CHINESE TAIPEI
Hong Kong: There was no home joy for Hong Kong as they fell to a 2-0 defeat against Chinese Taipei at the Mong Kok Stadium.
Chen Hao-Wei was the Chinese Taipei hero, firing a first half brace to give his side the win.
Chen struck his first in the 34th minute and sealed the win for Chinese Taipei with his second three minutes into first half stoppage time.
JORDAN 4-1 INDONESIA
Amman: Jordan weathered some early aggression from Indonesia before racing to a 4-1 win at the King Abdullah International Stadium.
Vital Borkelmans' side took the lead in the 23rd minute through Faha Baisal, who shot home from a narrow angle. The second goal came in the 43rd minute as Ahmed Ersan cut in from the left wing, beat a defender and slotted home.
Firmly in control, Jordan scored their third in the 63rd minute through substitute Yousef Al-Rawashdeh, who caught the Indonesia keeper off his line.
Hamza Al Dardour scored the fourth in the 79th minute with his effort into the top right corner but there was to be a consolation for Indonesia, with Beto Goncalves converting a penalty after he had been fouled in the 86th minute.
UZBEKISTAN 2-0 SYRIA
Tashkent: A blistering brace from Eldor Shuomurodov paved the way for Uzbekistan’s 2-0 friendly win over Syria at Tashkent’s Milliy Stadium.
Shomurodov’s two well-taken strikes, both scored before half-time, mean the 23-year-old has now hit the back of the net seven times in international play in 2019, as the Central Asians made it two wins on home soil in five days following Friday’s 4-0 success over DPR Korea.
Syria had earned a 1-1 draw at the same venue last September, but chances of a repeat were dented as early as the third minute, with Shomurodov latching onto a slide-rule pass from captain Odil Ahmedov before slipping the ball under goalkeeper Ibrahim Alma to open the scoring.
The FC Rostov striker doubled the lead three minutes before half time, this time outpacing the Syrian defence to reach a lofted pass before picking out the bottom corner of the net with aplomb.
KYRGYZ REPUBLIC 2-2 PALESTINE
Bishkek: Kyrgyz Republic’s return to home soil ended in disappointment, as a last-gasp equaliser helped Palestine come from two goals behind to earn a 2-2 draw.
The hosts looked to be cruising to victory when Bekzhan Sagynbaev put them 2-0 up early in the second half, but Tamer Seyam pulled a goal back for Palestine, before Abdullatif Al Bahdari scored a stoppage time penalty kick to leave honours even at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium.
Appearing in a home international for the first time since their run to the AFC Asian Cup 2019 knockout stage, Kyrgyz Republic took the lead in the 31st minute, with Tursunali Rustamov angling a superb header beyond goalkeeper Rami Hamadi from 12 yards.
Another header, this time from Sagynbaev, extended the Akshumkar’s lead in the 49th minute, but Seyam netted a free-kick to give Palestine a lifeline eight minutes later.
With time ticking away, it appeared Alexander Krestinin’s men would hold on, but Kyrgyz Republic conceded a late penalty, allowing 35-year-old veteran Al Bahdari to salvage a result from the spot for the Palestinians.
Photos: AFP, Hong Kong Football Association, Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic
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