Heroes, comebacks and last-gasp winners: Four Classic Asian Qualifiers
Kuala Lumpur: As fans around the Continent eagerly await the kick-off of Round 2 of the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, the-AFC.com recalls some of the most memorable qualifying duels from the past.
While all footballers dream of making an impact on the big stage, sometimes the qualification journey can just be as memorable as the destination.
Stunning fightbacks, last minute winners and superhuman performances from some of Asia’s all-time footballing greats feature in this qualification quartet, which features clashes from both the AFC Asian Cup and FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Sydney: Australia head coach Graham Arnold is confident the Socceroos will make a positive start to their Asian Qualifiers campaign for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 after a thorough selection process.
Arnold named the 23-strong squad on Friday, with Australia to play Kuwait away in their opening Group B match on September 10.
Arnold’s first Asian Qualifiers selection features a blend of international experience, and will offer further opportunities to numerous players at relatively early stages of their respective senior international careers.
Seoul: Korea Republic head coach Paulo Bento believes his players' ability to take on multiple positions will carry the team a long way in their FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers Round 2 campaign next month.
Bento unveiled his 26-man roster on Monday and will use the friendly against Georgia on September 5 as a tune-up before they play Turkmenistan in their opening Qualifiers' tie five days later.
Korea Republic will also face Lebanon, DPR Korea and Sri Lanka in Group H, as they seek to qualify for their 10th consecutive FIFA World Cup.
West Bank: Palestine will be powered by their foreign-based stars for their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers campaign.
Head coach Noureddin Ould Ali has called up 28 players for his preliminary squad including Yaser Hamed Mayor of Spanish club Club Portugalete, Nazmi Albadawi - who is on loan at North Carolina FC from MLS franchise FC Cincinnati and Tamer Seyam of Moroccan club Hassania Agadir.
Also called up are Islam Batran of Jordan’s Al Jazeera Club, Mahmoud Wadi of Egypt’s Al Masry SC, Saleh Chihadeh of Swiss Super League outfit FC Thun and Oday Dabbagh of Kuwait’s Al Salmiya.
Renard targets teamwork and success for Saudi Arabia
Jeddah: Newly appointed head coach Hervé Renard has declared that a sense of unity will be key if Saudi Arabia are to have a successful future.
The Frenchman joined the Green Falcons ahead of their imminent FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers campaign, which begins in early September.
Renard - who became the first coach in history to win the Africa Cup of Nations title with two different nations when he led Zambia to glory in 2012 and succeeded again with Côte d’Ivoire three years later – was appointed following his resignation as Morocco national team head coach last month.