'Nothing is impossible in race for top three', insists Vietnam's Tien Linh as China PR clash looms
Sharjah: Vietnam may have lost their opening two games in the final round of the Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar, but Nguyen Tien Linh believes the Golden Stars still have a chance of finishing in the top three of Group B as they prepare to face China PR on Thursday.
Appearing in the final round of Asian Qualifiers for the first time, Vietnam took the lead in their Group B opener against Saudi Arabia in Riyadh but, reduced to 10 men, fell to a 3-1 defeat before being edged 1-0 by Australia in Hanoi on Matchday Two.
Next up in the United Arab Emirates they face neighbours China, who have also suffered back-to-back defeats, in what is already a crunch encounter at these early stages, before taking on Oman in Muscat five days later.
Tokyo: Former Japan international midfielder Tsukasa Shiotani has returned to the J-League to sign for Sanfrecce Hiroshima after leaving Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.
Shiotani, who was part of the Samurai Blue squad that reached the final of the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE in 2019, has gone back to Hiroshima four years after making the switch to Al Ain from the Japanese club.
Six players who lit up the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 Qualifiers
Kuala Lumpur: In a 12-day period where established powers flexed their muscles, and burgeoning contenders announced their arrival on the AFC Women’s Asian Cup stage, there was no shortage of heroes.
For some, it was a time of joyous wins and priceless breakthroughs; for others, the anguish of an opportunity missed.
But beyond the drama delivered by September’s six AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 qualifying groups, there were standout individual performers, who seized the moment to ensure their country will be among the continent’s elite at January’s Finals.
At the conclusion of a gripping international window, we’ve picked out six eye-catching performers – one from each group – who left their mark on September’s qualifiers, and will be aiming to do the same on an even bigger stage In less than four months at India 2022.
AO Tanaka included in Japan's squad for AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar challenge
Tokyo: Midfielder Ao Tanaka has been recalled to the Japan squad for next month’s meetings with Saudi Arabia and Japan in the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar.
The former Kawasaki Frontale player was a key member of Japan’s Olympic team as Hajime Moriyasu led the country to the semi-finals of the tournament on home soil, but he was not selected for the Asian Qualifiers' ties against Oman and China PR last month.
The Japanese lost their opening game against the Omanis before handing Li Tie’s team a 1-0 defeat in Doha to sit in fourth place in Group B with three points from their first two matches.