Bento: Korea Republic should have closed out game against Syria earlier
Ansan: Paulo Bento has rued Korea Republic's missed opportunities despite the Taeguk Warriors scoring late to secure a 2-1 victory over Syria in Group A of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar on Thursday.
The East Asians had almost complete control of the first half but failed to find the opening goal as Song Min-kyu headed onto the crossbar and, incredibly, Hwang Hee-chan was off target with three gilt-edged opportunities as Korea's problems in front of goal continued.
Hwang In-beom's effort from distance ultimately broke the deadlock early in the second half but it appeared Bento's side were going to be punished for their profligacy when the 2017 AFC Player of the Year Omar Khribin stunned the hosts by firing home an equaliser with just six minutes to play.
Late Son strike seals Korea Republic win over Syria
Ansan City: Son Heung-min's goal with just a minute to play helped Korea Republic defeat Syria 2-1 in dramatic fashion in Group A of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar at Ansan Wa Stadium on Thursday.
Korea dominated the first half but failed to capitalise on their superiority, with Hwang Hee-chan guilty of wasting three glorious opportunities, before the East Asians did go in front shortly after the interval through Hwang In-beom’s long-range strike.
But the West Asians fought back strongly and levelled proceedings with just six minutes to go when Khribin struck an unstoppable effort into the back of the net, only for Son to break Syrian hearts by striking the winner just minutes later.
Al Buraikan stars as Saudi Arabia defeat Japan to extend winning streak
Jeddah: Saudi Arabia extended their perfect start to the Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar, defeating Japan 1-0 at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium on Thursday to move up to nine points.
The home side were hopeful of a repeat of their victory on the same ground four years later which proved to be decisive in their qualification to Russia 2018, and they got what they came for thanks to super sub Firas Al Buraikan’s composed finish.
Doha: Iraq and Lebanon played out a 0-0 draw at the Khalifa International Stadium on Matchday Three of Group A of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar.
With both sides having not won either of their first two games, they needed a victory to make up for lost ground but a combination of superb goalkeeping and lack of clinical finishing meant they each had to settle for a point.
Dubai: Islamic Republic of Iran secured three priceless points on the Road to Qatar, emerging from a dramatic AFC Asian Qualifiers clash against the United Arab Emirates with a 1-0 win at Zabeel Stadium on Thursday.
A Mehdi Taremi strike with 20 minutes remaining proved decisive, keeping Dragan Skočić’s side on top of Group A with their third win from as many matches in the Final Round.
Unable to end their long winless run against Team Melli, the result leaves the United Arab Emirates stranded on two points from their three outings, considerably raising the stakes ahead of their clash with Iraq on Tuesday, the same day Iran will meet Korea Republic in a top of the table tie.
Doha: Australia extended their winning run to a record 11th match, moving a step closer to Qatar 2022 qualification with a 3-1 AFC Asian Qualifiers win over Oman at Khalifa International stadium on Thursday.
Graham Arnold’s side looked to have a battle on their hands when a goal from Oman’s Al Mandhar Al Alawi cancelled out Awer Mabil’s opener before half-time, but second half efforts from Martin Boyle and substitute Mitch Duke made the points safe, and created a new global mark for the longest winning streak in FIFA World Cup qualifying.
Alongside Saudi Arabia on nine points, Australia retain top spot in Group B on goal difference, while Oman are now one of three teams six points adrift of the top two after three matches.
Sharjah: Wu Lei struck deep into injury time to earn China PR a dramatic 3-2 victory over Vietnam in Sharjah on Thursday as Li Tie’s side picked up their first win in the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar.
The Espanyol striker netted in the fifth minute of added time after Vietnam had fought back from going two goals down and looked set to claim a share of the points before Wu’s sensational winner.
Goals from Zhang Yuning and Wu looked to be sending the Chinese on their way to all three points in the United Arab Emirates, but strikes from Ho Tan Tai and Nguyen Tien Linh in the final 10 minutes pulled Vietnam level.
But Wu Lei’s winner means China have claimed their first victory after back-to-back defeats against Australia and Japan last month while Vietnam remain rooted to the bottom of the group after three rounds of matches.