History beckons as record six Asian teams qualify for the global showpiece
Kuala Lumpur: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Australia for becoming the record sixth AFC side to secure their place at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after the Socceroos successfully navigated past Peru 5-4 on penalties as both sides played to a goalless draw after 120 minutes in a riveting FIFA World Cup Intercontinental Playoff on Monday.
AFC President Shaikh Salman said: “On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Australia for qualifying to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Australia edge Peru on penalties for historical sixth Qatar 2022 spot
Doha: Substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne was the hero as Australia qualified for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after defeating Peru 5-4 on penalties in the Inter-Confederation Playoff at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Monday to ensure Asia has six representatives in the FIFA World Cup for the first time in history.
The playoff ended 0-0 after 120 minutes with Australia prevailing from the penalty spot to qualify for their sixth FIFA World Cup Finals.
The Socceroos join hosts Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia, Japan, Islamic Republic of Iran and Korea Republic in the Finals for the biggest ever AFC contingent on the global stage. They will be placed in Group D alongside France, Denmark and Tunisia.
Preview - Qualifiers Group A: Jordan v Kuwait; Indonesia v Nepal
Kuwait City: Three of the four teams in Group A of the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers are still in the race to reach next year’s Finals going into Matchday Three on Tuesday with Jordan facing Kuwait and Indonesia playing eliminated Nepal.
Jordan are in the driving seat with a perfect record of six points collected from their opening two games. They are trailed by Indonesia and Kuwait on three points each while Nepal are yet to get off the mark.
Preview – Qualifiers Group B: Palestine v Philippines; Yemen v Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar: MFF Stadium is all set to host the last pair of Group B fixtures in the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round on Tuesday with Palestine facing Philippines in a winner-takes-all match for top spot, while Yemen take on hosts Mongolia in the day’s later match.
Matchday Two on Saturday saw a contrasting set of results as Philippines edged Mongolia 1-0 before Palestine comprehensively defeated Yemen 5-0 to put Makram Daboub’s side in pole position in the standings.
Preview – Qualifiers Group D: India v Hong Kong; Afghanistan v Cambodia
Kolkata: Hong Kong coach Jorn Andersen is relishing sending his team out to face India in front of partisan crowd at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium on Tuesday as the east Asian territory looks to seal a spot at the AFC Asian Cup™ Finals for the first time in more than 50 years.
Andersen’s side lead Group D of the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round on goal difference ahead of Igor Stimac’s team and will seal top spot – and a place in next year’s tournament – if they avoid defeat when the teams meet.
Preview - Qualifiers Group E: Bahrain v Turkmenistan; Malaysia v Bangladesh
Kuala Lumpur: Bahrain only need a draw against Turkmenistan on Tuesday to seal a place in the Finals while Malaysia have to defeat Bangladesh to stand a chance of making a return to the AFC Asian Cup™ since their last appearance as co-hosts in 2007.
The 2-1 defeat to Bahrain on Matchday Two means Malaysia's hopes of finishing top of Group E of the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round - which would mean automatic qualification - suffered a blow and three points are a must against Bangladesh.
Turkmenistan are also very much in the mix, as a win over Bahrain would mean goal difference will decide the group winners and runners-up if Malaysia defeat Bangladesh.
Preview - Qualifiers Group F: Myanmar v Singapore; Kyrgyz Republic v Tajikistan
Bishkek: Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic will have the opportunity to secure AFC Asian Cup 2023™ places when Group F of the Final Round Qualifiers concludes at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Tuesday.
Both sitting on the maximum six points, the winners of the all-Central Asian clash will be guaranteed participants in next year’s Finals, while even the losers of Tuesday’s clash may still qualify as one of the five best runners-up.
While the top two will vie for supremacy in the group’s final clash, Matchday Three will also feature a battle for pride between Singapore and Myanmar, both of whom are already eliminated.