Sharjah: Australia missed a chance to shore up their qualification hopes, dropping points for a third consecutive fixture in a 1-1 AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar draw against China PR on Tuesday.
Graham Arnold’s side looked like winners when Mitch Duke put them in front late in the first half, but a desperate Chinese side kept the door ajar on their own Qatar 2022 hopes thanks to Wu Lei’s 70th minute penalty.
The result takes Australia to 11 points, five adrift of Group B leaders Saudi Arabia, and could be overtaken by Japan later on Tuesday, while China PR’s tally of five points means they still have significant work to do if they are to end their 20-year qualification drought.
Group B: Japan strike late for crucial three points against Oman
Muscat: Junya Ito struck nine minutes from time to earn Japan a 1-0 win over Oman in Group B of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar in Muscat on Tuesday to take the Samurai Blue into second place in the standings with only four games remaining.
The win moves the Japanese a point clear of Australia, who were held to a 1-1 draw by China PR in Sharjah earlier in the evening, with Saudi Arabia now four points clear at the top of the standings. Oman remain in fourth on seven points.
The top two finishers in the group will qualify automatically for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 while the third placed side will advance into a series of playoffs for a possible fifth Asian berth.
Group B: Saudi Arabia defeat Vietnam to edge closer to Qatar 2022
Hanoi: Saudi Arabia will go into 2022 on top of Group B after a 1-0 victory over Vietnam at My Dinh Stadium on Tuesday made it five wins from six games in their AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar campaign.
Saleh Al Shehri broke the deadlock on the half hour with his third of the campaign with what proved the only goal of the game as the Green Falcons made it two wins from two against Park Hang-seo's Vietnam.
The result means Herve Renard's Saudi Arabia will finish the year at least three points clear at the top of the standings as they bid to reach the FIFA World Cup for the sixth time.
Group A: IR Iran tighten grip with victory over Syria
Amman: A dominant display from the Islamic Republic of Iran at the King Abdullah II Stadium saw them cruise past Syria 3-0 on Matchday Six of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar on Tuesday.
Team Melli went into the game off the back of a five-match unbeaten run, and they cemented their place at the top of Group A with a fifth win in their last six, moving up to 16 points, while Syria were rooted to the foot of the group without a win and remained there after the game.
Doha: Korea Republic clinically dispatched Iraq 3-0 at the Thani bin Jassim Stadium on Matchday Six of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar, drawing closer to sealing a top-two spot in Group A.
Iraq headed into the match winless in five games, while Korea Republic had three wins from five and trailed the Islamic Republic of Iran in first place, yet put up a convincing display against the 2007 AFC Asian Cup champions.
Saida: United Arab Emirates gave their AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar campaign a much-needed shot in the arm, defeating Lebanon 1-0 thanks to a late Ali Mabkhout penalty on Tuesday.
Lebanon had the edge in terms of chances but couldn’t make any of them count before the UAE’s prolific front man converted from 12 yards in the 85th minute at an empty Saida Municipal Stadium.
The result ends a five-match winless run for Bert van Marwijk’s side and temporarily lifts them above Lebanon and third in Group A, keeping their chances for a playoff spot very much alive with four matches remaining.
AFC Champions League Final to be played with full fan capacity
Kuala Lumpur: The 2021 AFC Champions League final between Al Hilal SFC of Saudi Arabia and Pohang Steelers of Korea Republic will be hosted with a 100% capacity at the 68,000-seat King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) approved the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF)’s decision to hold the match with 100% attendance, while maintaining full compliance with the COVID-19 protocols set out by the AFC and the relevant authorities in Saudi Arabia.
Seoul: Pohang Steelers are determined to fulfil the dreams of their fans by winning the 2021 AFC Champions League.
Back in the competition for the first time since 2016 - coincidentally the last time a Korea Republic club lifted the continental trophy - head coach Kim Gi-dong said Pohang Steelers will be on a mission to make their fans and league proud when they face Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal SFC in the final next Tuesday.