East Asia & ASEAN Wrap: Suwon storm to 'Super Match' victory
Hong Kong: Suwon Samsung Bluewings produced a resounding display to post a 3-0 victory over FC Seoul in Korea Republic's 'Super Match' on Saturday and stay within three points of K League 1 leaders Ulsan Hyundai.
In Japan, Kawasaki Frontale left it late but the table-toppers edged Kashima Antlers 2-1 as they extended their lead at the J1 League summit to 15 points, while the league season came to a close in Hong Kong.
Elsewhere, the battle for top-six finishes and a place in Australia's Finals Series continues, and there was action in Macau and the Northern Mariana Islands, so join the-AFC.com as we review the best of the action from across East Asia and ASEAN.
Group A: China PR waltz past Guam to stay on track in Asian Qualifiers
Suzhou: Wu Lei scored twice as China PR cruised to a 7-0 win over Guam in Suzhou on Sunday to move into sole possession of second place in Group A of the second round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
The Spain-based striker put the Chinese on their way to collecting all three points in front of a crowd of 29,222 at Suzhou Olympic Sports Center as Li Tie’s side closed the gap on leaders Syria to five points with three games remaining.
The Chinese next face the Maldives on June 3 while Guam, who have yet to claim a point in the second round of qualifying, take on the Philippines.
Iniesta-inspired Dimas out to defend Indonesian pride in Asian Qualifiers
Jakarta: Indonesia's Evan Dimas is all too aware that his team’s hopes of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 have already been extinguished. But AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualification is still on the cards and a fresh approach means reason for optimism when action resumes next week.
With five straight losses, the Southeast Asians can no longer finish top two in a fascinating group which also features Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates. The disappointing results not only cost coach Simon McMenemy his job, but also dented the team's confidence.
The new boss in charge is none other than former Shin Tae-yong, who guided Korea Republic to a famous 2-0 defeat of world champions Germany at Russia 2018. With the memory of that amazing victory still fresh in mind, Dimas is hoping that Indonesia can produce similar heroics under Shin.
Moriyasu hails players after win over Myanmar takes Japan through to third round of Asian Qualifiers
Chiba: Hajime Moriyasu commended his players’ relentless approach after the Samurai Blue booked their place in the third round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 with a thumping 10-0 win over Myanmar.
The Japanese also sealed their spot at the Finals of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 as Group F winners with the victory, their sixth in a row in the current phase of qualifying, as Moriyasu’s side confirmed their progress to the next phase with two games remaining.
Bangkok: Australian Aurelio Vidmar will lead BG Pathum United into the group phase of the 2021 AFC Champions League after he was unveiled as the Thai League 1 champions’ new head coach on Sunday.
Vidmar, who famously led Adelaide United to the final of the competition in 2008, was most recently head coach of Singapore Premier League side Lion City Sailors and he previously coached BG Pathum United when they were known as Bangkok Glass in the 2016-17 campaign.
Beijing: Birmingham City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has pulled out of the Philippines’ upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers in China PR, the Azkals confirmed on Saturday.
Etheridge is one of several withdrawals from the squad prior to their departure for Suzhou, where the Philippines will face China, Guam and the Maldives in Group A of the preliminaries.
Japan remain Asia's best in latest FIFA World Ranking
Kuala Lumpur: Japan lead the way as Asia's best ranked team in the latest FIFA World Ranking released on Thursday.
The Samurai Blue's position remained unchanged at 28th, and will be among the first teams to resume their campaign in the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 with Hajime Moriyasu's men to play Myanmar at the Fukuda Denshi Arena on Friday.