Moriyasu praises Japan's resilience, Australia's Arnold positive despite defeat
Saitama: Hajime Moriyasu hailed his squad’s unity as Japan shrugged off the pressure of a disappointing start to their campaign in the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar to pick up a late 2-1 win over Australia at Saitama Stadium on Tuesday.
Aziz Behich’s own goal five minutes from time earned the Japanese a second win in four games in Group B to move to within three points of the Socceroos in the quest for one of the two automatic berths at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
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.
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.
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.