Osaka: Hajime Moriyasu was relieved his pre-match concerns did not come to fruition on Thursday as the Samurai Blue started their challenge in the Preliminary Joint Qualification – Round 2 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 with a 5-0 win over Myanmar.
The AFC Coach of the Year saw Ayase Ueda put his side in front in the 11th minute to allay fears his side would struggle to find an early breakthrough before the Japanese went on to claim a comfortable win.
Positive mentality the key to big Australia win, says Arnold
Melbourne: Graham Arnold was pleased that Australia did not allow a drop of complacency as they kickstarted their Preliminary Joint Qualification – Round 2 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027™ in style.
Six-time FIFA World Cup participants Australia stamped their class in a 7-0 defeat of Bangladesh at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium that put the Socceroos in good stead in Group I with Palestine up next on Tuesday.
Seoul: Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was effusive in his praise for the patience Korea Republic showed in producing a five-star performance against Singapore in the Preliminary Joint Qualification – Round 2 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027™ match on Thursday.
The Taeguk Warriors had to wait until the 44th minute to get ahead through Cho Gue-sung but once they did, never looked back and eventually ran out comfortable 5-0 winners in front of more than 64,000 fans at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
Kuala Lumpur: Kim Pan-gon praised his players after Malaysia came from behind to snatch a dramatic 4-3 win against Kyrgyz Republic in Group D of the Preliminary Joint Qualification – Round 2 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027™ on Thursday.
Malaysia took the lead only to find themselves trailing 3-1, with the Harimau Malaya then sending their fans into raptures by clawing their way back with Faisal Halim scoring the winner in added time at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
Kuala Lumpur: Hajime Moriyasu may have described Group D as extremely tough but the Japanese tactician will be confident of his team's AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ chances.
Denied a fifth title by a brilliant Qatar in the 2019 edition, Japan will enter the upcoming Finals boosted by a strong performance at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, where they came agonisingly close to a first ever quarter-final appearance.