ASEAN & East Asia Wrap: Bali crowned champions; Ulsan beat rivals Pohang
Kuala Lumpur: Bali United have been crowned champions of Indonesia for the second time after title rivals Persib Bandung dropped points over the weekend confirmed the destination of the Liga 1 trophy.
Ulsan Hyundai claimed bragging rights in Korea Republic by overcoming East Coast Derby rivals Pohang Steelers on Sunday, while the top two teams won in Australia to pull further away from the chasing pack.
Elsewhere, there were games in Cambodia and Macau, so join the-AFC.com as we look back on the action from across ASEAN and East Asia.
Five Takeaways from AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar™ Matchday Nine
Dubai: A thrilling day of AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar™ action produced some big stories across the continent as Saudi Arabia and Japan officially joined Korea Republic and Islamic Republic of Iran as well as hosts Qatar as Asia’s four confirmed representatives on the global stage later this year.
Australia were consigned to finish third, having previously confirmed they cannot mathematically finish any lower. Across the two groups, there was plenty of drama, late goals, managerial debuts gone right and wrong and more. So the-AFC.com takes us through five key takeaways from Matchday Nine.
Bento hails Son after Korea Republic claim long-awaited win over IR Iran
Seoul: Korea Republic head coach Paulo Bento was full of praise for Son Heung-min after his captain’s goal on the stroke of half-time paved the way for a 2-0 win over the Islamic Republic of Iran in Group A of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar™ on Thursday.
With both nations having already sealed their places at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ™, Bento’s side went into their penultimate match second in the standings, two points behind an Iranian team they were aiming to beat for the first time in eight attempts in a run that stretched back to the 2011 AFC Asian Cup™.
And after dominating the opening 45 minutes at a sold-out Seoul World Cup Stadium, Son finally broke the deadlock with a fizzing shot from distance in first-half stoppage time as the Tottenham Hotspur forward’s goal set the Taeguk Warriors on their way to a rare victory over Team Melli.
China PR, Philippines soar, DPR Korea still Asia’s number one in FIFA women’s rankings
Kuala Lumpur: AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022™ success powered China PR and the Philippines up the list, while DPR Korea remained Asia’s highest ranked side in the latest FIFA Women’s World Rankings update.
China PR’s ninth Asian title saw them climb three places from 19th to 16th on the global list, and are now the fourth-highest ranked team in Asia, having moved one place ahead of Korea Republic, who they defeated in last month's continental decider.
Japan’s Moriyasu credits players for Sydney success, Arnold looks ahead
Sydney: Delighted Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu lauded the winning mindset of his players after they scored twice in the dying minutes to qualify for this year’s FIFA World Cup™ with a 2-0 AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar™ win over Australia on Thursday.
Substitute Kaoru Mitoma was the hero, breaking the deadlock from close range in the 89th minute before a low effort skidded on the greasy surface and under goalkeeper Mat Ryan four minutes into stoppage time as Japan celebrated their first away win over the Socceroos since 1998.