Jeddah: Saudi Arabia extended their winning run in the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar to four wins in a row after weathering a late China PR storm to triumph 3-2 on Matchday Four of Group B at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium on Tuesday.
China PR scored twice in the second half, but it was not enough to mount a comeback as the Saudis held on to earn their first-ever win against the Chinese in FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Saitama: Aziz Behich’s late own goal handed Japan a much-needed 2-1 win over Australia as the Samurai Blue picked up their second victory in Group B of the Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar at the Saitama Stadium on Tuesday.
Behich bundled the ball over his own line after Maty Ryan struggled to deal with Takmua Asano’s looping shot, which came back off the post before being redirected into the Socceroos’ goal.
The win earns Japan a FIFA World Cup lifeline after only one win in their previous three matches and came after Ajdin Hrustic had cancelled out Ao Tanaka’s early effort with a stunning 69th minute free-kick.
IR Iran, Korea Republic settle for share of points
Tehran: Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s 76th-minute equaliser ensured Islamic Republic of Iran retained top spot of Group A after a 1-1 draw in their AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar clash against Korea Republic on Tuesday.
Korea Republic looked set to claim their first ever away win at the Azadi Stadium when Son Heung-min put them ahead three minutes after half-time, but a stirring fightback and Jahanbakhsh’s towering header gave the hosts a share of the spoils.
The result ends Iran’s 10-game winning streak under head coach Dragan Skočić, but keeps them clear on top of the group on 10 points from four matches, while Paulo Bento’s side remain two adrift after four of 10 Final Round matches.
Dubai: United Arab Emirates and Iraq remain winless in AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar Group A after playing out a thrilling 2-2 draw at Zabeel Stadium on Tuesday.
Caio Canedo fired the hosts ahead midway through the first half, but a Mohamad Al Attas own goal 16 minutes from time gave the visitors a foothold, and substitute Aymen Hussein sparked mass celebration among the Iraqis when he put them ahead in the 90th minute, only for Ali Mabkhout to snatch an equaliser in the fourth minute of added time.
It was a thrilling encounter, but the result does little to help either side’s hopes of direct qualification for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, with both UAE and Iraq sitting seven points behind group leaders Islamic Republic of Iran, and five adrift of second placed Korea Republic.
Amman: Lebanon emerged 3-2 winners against Syria in an electrifying encounter on Matchday Four of Group A of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar.
Syria had scored two goals in the first three matches while Lebanon had yet to score prior to this match, but with both sides needing a win to kickstart their campaigns, a five-goal thriller was produced with elite counter-attacking play contributing to a mesmerising encounter between the two neighbours in Jordan.
Cambodia overcome Guam to seal final slot in Qualifiers
Manama: Cambodia bounced back from a goal down to beat Guam 2-1 in the second leg of their playoff tie to advance to the final round of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers with a 3-1 aggregate win on Tuesday.
Guam took the lead through Devan Mendiola in the first half, but a tenacious Cambodian side came back stronger after the break with goals from Sos Suhana and substitute Keo Sokpheng securing the win.
Guam kicked off the match on the attacking foot as they sought to reverse their 1-0 first leg defeat and were successful in containing the Southeast Asians within their own half in the opening minutes.
Guam had their first sight on goal in the 10th minute when Jason Cunliffe collected Jonahan Romero’s long-range pass, but his run was cut short by the Cambodian defence, before Devan Mendiola failed to convert the loose ball from inside the box.
Egy Maulana determined to steer Indonesia to China 2023
Buriram: Egy Maulana turned in a sterling performance to guide Indonesia to a 3-0 win over Chinese Taipei in the second leg of their AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifiers playoff on Monday and then immediately set his sights on guiding the Southeast Asian side to the Finals.
Indonesia defeated Chinese Taipei 5-1 on aggregate and will join 23 others teams vying for the 11 remaining places in the China 2023 Finals.