Road to Qatar 2022 & China 2023: Five Talking Points
Kuala Lumpur: After six rounds of matches, the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 are done and dusted for 2019.
Qualifying action for the two premier competitions will resume on March 26 as the players - depending on where they play their club football - either return to their teams or get some much needed break.
Join the-AFC.com as we take a look at five talking points at this stage of a thrilling Asian Qualifiers.
Kuala Lumpur: Matchday Six of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 came to a close with Syria and Turkmenistan the big winners on an exciting day of action.
Syria made it five wins from five to seize control of Group A as the West Asians will take a whopping eight-point lead into 2020 after defeating Philippines 1-0.
Turkmenistan will also head into the new year as Group H leaders, with their 1-0 win over Sri Lanka and the Lebanon-DPR Korea tie ending in a goalless stalemate giving the Central Asian side a one-point lead.
Dushanbe: Akram Afif said Qatar may not have fired on all cylinders but they achieved their target in the 1-0 away win against Afghanistan in Group E of the Asian Qualifiers on Tuesday.
Afif scored the winning goal from the penalty spot 14 minutes from time as the Asian champions were made to work hard in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualification tie by a resilient Afghanistan at the Republican Central Stadium.
Dubai: Head coach Fajr Ebrahim believes Syria’s recent hard work is starting to pay handsome dividends after watching his side record a fifth successive Asian Qualifiers victory thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Philippines on Tuesday.
Ward Salama’s first-half goal proved the difference at Dubai’s Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium as Syria reinforced their position at the top of the Group A standings by going eight points clear of second-placed China PR.
With progress through to the next phase of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying – and a place at the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 – now tantalisingly close, Ebrahim is adamant that Syria fully deserve to be where they are.
Muscat: Tuesday's defeat to Oman means India ended 2019 without a win in the Asian Qualifiers, leaving them with much work to do if Igor Stimac's side are to advance to the next stage of the competition.
India collected three points from five matches, with both their defeats inflicted by Oman and head coach Stimac said the South Asian side's major issue had been their inability to score from open play in their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifying campaign.