Late wins for Iraq and Lebanon on night of comebacks
Karbala: Hosts Iraq came from behind to maintain their perfect record, while Lebanon produced late heroics of their own to beat Syria on the second day of Group A action at the 2019 WAFF Championship on Friday.
PALESTINE 1-2 IRAQ
Iraq continued their perfect start to their home championship, recovering from the concession of an early Islam Batran spot-kick to eventually prevail 2-1 at Karbala Sports City.
Karbala: Hosts Iraq got their campaign up and running with a 1-0 win over Lebanon, while Palestine also claimed a single-goal success against Yemen as the 2019 WAFF Championship got underway in Karbala on Tuesday.
IRAQ 1-0 LEBANON
A second-half goal from Hussein Ali helped hosts Iraq make a winning start, with Srecko Katanec’s side overcoming Lebanon 1-0 at Karbala International Stadium.
Ali’s decisive 58th minute strike followed a commanding first-half performance from Iraq, who entertained a large and enthusiastic crowd throughout the opening period but failed to find an opening goal.
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia have unveiled two-time African Cup of Nations winner Hervé Renard as their new national head coach.
The Frenchman joins the Green Falcons ahead of their imminent FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers campaign, which begins in early September.
Renard - who became the first coach in history to win the African title with two different nations when he led Zambia to glory in 2012 and succeeded again with Côte d’Ivoire three years later – joins the Saudi setup following his resignation as Moroccan national team head coach two weeks ago.
Kuala Lumpur: With their challengers all ranked higher than them, Guam are counting on home ground advantage to make a mark in the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Guam are in Group A of the Asian Qualifiers with China PR, Maldives, Philippines and Syria the teams they have to face.
It will be a tough challenge as Guam, at 198, are the lowest ranked team in the group.
Ulaanbaatar: Mongolia will face their toughest challenge yet following the result of the Asian Qualifiers draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 but the Blue Wolves are determined to continue charting history.
Head coach Michael Weiss’ side will be making their first-ever appearance in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers with Japan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Myanmar to contend with in Group F.
Despite being in unfamiliar territory, Weiss is relishing the prospect of meeting heavyweights such as four-time AFC Asian Cup champions Japan.
Kuala Lumpur: Newly appointed Singapore head coach Tatsuma Yoshida is optimistic about his team’s chances in Round Two of the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 despite being drawn in a tough group.
Singapore were drawn in Group D with Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Palestine and Yemen - who have all played in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
The Lions, ranked 162 in the world, will face stiff competition in the qualifying campaign when they kick off against Yemen on September 5 and Palestine five days later.
Three-time AFC Asian Cup champions Saudi Arabia will be next on October 10 and Yoshida admitted Singapore face a huge challenge.