AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Facts and Stats
Kuala Lumpur: Matchdays Three and Four of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar promise to be thrilling affairs as the 12 teams look to enhance their hopes of reaching the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Finals.
Some will head into the next round of matches boosted by their recent form while others will need to up their game if they are to stay in the race for the four automatic Qatar 2022 spots.
Join the-AFC.com as we take a look at the facts and stats the teams will have to contend with going into Matchday Three.
AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar: How Group A stands
Kuala Lumpur: With the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar returning on October 7 for another crucial pair of double-headers, the-AFC.com brings you up to speed with how things look in Group A.
After two rounds of fixtures, the heavyweights of Islamic Republic of Iran and Korea Republic have already stamped their authority on the group, with the Iranians leading the way following back-to-back wins over Syria and Iraq, and the Koreans two points back after drawing against Iraq and beating Lebanon.
Dragan Skocic's Iran have been arguably the most impressive side in the AFC Asian Qualifiers to date, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh rediscovering his mojo since returning to the Eredivisie to join Feyenoord. The former Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder netted the only goal on Matchday One as his side edged Syria before opening the scoring in an emphatic 3-0 win over neighbours Iraq.
AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar: How Group B stands
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar moves on to its Matchday Three and Four fixtures with the next set of games taking place on October 7 and 12 and the six sides in Group B returning for more vital match-ups.
A huge shock on Matchday One saw Oman defeat Japan in Osaka to gain the best possible start, while powerhouses Saudi Arabia and Australia began with two wins from two. China PR and Vietnam, meanwhile, both suffered back-to-back defeats.
Leading the way at present is Graham Arnold's Australia, who got off to a flying start as goals from Awer Mabil, Martin Boyle and Mitchell Duke secured a comfortable 3-0 win over China in Doha, before Rhyan Grant's first international goal edged a narrow 1-0 victory against Vietnam in Hanoi.
Kuala Lumpur: After suffering their first defeat of the Thai League 1 campaign last week, Buriram United returned to winning ways at the weekend and with it moved back to the top of the standings following a 2-0 win over Prachuap.
Two wins in a week have seen Bhayankara rise to the top of the table in Indonesia, while two title rivals ended all square in the big match-up in Cambodia and the Malaysia Cup is back for the first time since 2019.
The-AFC.com looks back at the latest round of fixtures across Southeast Asia.
East Asia Wrap: Frontale come out on top in Tamagawa Derby
Hong Kong: Kawasaki Frontale took another step towards the J1 League title after they edged rivals FC Tokyo 1-0 in the Tamagawa Derby on Saturday to stay 12 points clear at the top of the standings.
The top two won in Korea Republic as Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors look set to take the title race down to the wire once more, while Athletic 220 have been crowned champions of Mongolia for the second successive season.
Join the-AFC.comas we review all the action from across East Asia.
Seoul: Kwon Chang-hoon has withdrawn from Korea Republic’s squad for their upcoming matches in the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar with an injury to his left ankle.
The 27-year-old, who scored the only goal in Korea Republic’s win over Lebanon in Group A of the AFC Asian Qualifiers last month, netted the winner in Suwon Samsung Bluewing’s 1-0 victory against Incheon United on Saturday before being substituted with 21 minutes remaining.
Tokyo: Futoshi Ikeda will lead defending champions Japan at AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, after he was confirmed as the new Nadeshiko head coach.
The 50-year-old replaces Asako Takakura, who led the team to the 2018 continental title in Jordan before resigning following a quarter-final exit at the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
It is expected that Ikeda will head the women’s national team at three major tournaments in as many years, with the imminent AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 to be followed by the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as well as the 2024 Paris Olympics, should Japan qualify.