Prodigy Luqman Hakim included in Malaysia preliminary squad for 2019 SEA Games

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

Luqman Hakim Shamsudin, the 17-year-old forward who has earned a contract with Belgian club KV Kortrijk, has been included in Malaysia’s preliminary squad for 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Luqman, who will sign a five-year contract with the Belgian top division club once he turns 18 in March 2020, is one of the 28 players who have been called up by Malaysia U-23 head coach Ong Kim Swee for their SEA Games campaign.

The men’s football competition in the SEA Games is expected to get underway in Manila on November 25 with Malaysia pooled with hosts Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and Timor-Leste in Group A.

Luqman is one of the five U-18 players who have been included in the preliminary list along with Harith Haiqal Adam Afkar, Muhamad Umar Hakeem Suhar Rezwan, Muhamad Mukhairi Ajmal Mahadi and Muhammad Azam Azmi Murad.

The list will be reduced to 20 players before the team leaves for the SEA Games on November 23.

Malaysia’s 28-member preliminary squad for 2019 SEA Games

Muhamad Shahrul Nizam Ros Hasni, Muhammad Danial Haqim Draman, Nik Akif, Nik Azli Nik Alias (all from Kelantan FA), Ariff Ar-Rasyid Ariffin, A Shivan Pillay, Damien Lim Chien Kai, Muhammad Jafri Muhammad Firdaus Chew (PKNS FC), R Dinesh, Mohamad Faisal Abdul Halim, M Kogileswaran (Pahang FA), Luqman Hakim Shamsudin, Harith Haiqal Adam Afkar, Muhamad Umar Hakeem Suhar Rezwan (Mokhtar Dahari U17 Academy), Mohd Fadzrul Danel Mohd Nizam, Mohammad Fayadh Mohd Zulkifli Amin (Kedah FA), Muhammad Haziq Mohd Subri, Muhammad Khairul Amizan Suhaimi (Perak TBG), Muhammad Azri Ab Ghani (FELDA United), Muhammad Haziq Nadzli (Johor Darul Ta’zim), Mohamad Hariz Kamarudin (JDT II), K Thivandaran (PJ City FC), Muhammad Mukhairi Ajmal Mahadi (PKNP FC), Evan Wensley Wenceslaus (Sabah FA), Muhammad Amirul Ashraf Ariffin (Selangor FA), Muhammad Azam Azmi Murad (Terengganu FC), Quentin Cheng (B-21 Central Coast Mariners), Muhammad Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak (Fagiano Okayama)

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FIFA World Rankings: Vietnam, Thailand rise while Indonesia, India slip; Japan close gap on Iran at the top

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

Vietnam and Thailand have improved their positions in the latest edition of the FIFA World Rankings while Japan have closed down the gap on Asian No.1 IR Iran.

Vietnam are the No.1 ranked ASEAN nation in the FIFA World Rankings, dated October 24, having climbed two places in the rankings table to 97th in the world.

Thailand are the second highest-ranked side from Southeast Asia sitting at 109th having climbed a healthy five places following their wins over Indonesia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers second round.

Philippines also climb one place 126th after a commendable goalless draw against China PR in the qualifiers this month to be the ASEAN No. 3.

Myanmar, who called back Antoine Hey after sacking head coach Miodrag Radulovic following a poor start to the World Cup Qualifiers, are 147th in the world having dropped two places.

Malaysia remain in 158th while Singapore dropped two positions to occupy 159th.

Indonesia dropped four places to sit at 171st while Cambodia are one place below them at 172nd having dropped three places themselves.

Laos, Brunei Darussalam and Timor-Leste are the lowest ranked sides from ASEAN sitting at 188th, 191st and 198th respectively.

Elsewhere, India have slipped two more places to occupy 106th place after their 1-1 draw against Bangladesh who have climbed three places to 184th.

At the top, only one place separates Asia’s No. 1 side Iran and the second-placed Japan who sit at 27th and 28th in the world. Japan climbed three spots to reach 28th while Marc Wilmots’ Team Melli have slipped four places after a shock 1-0 defeat to Bahrain.

FIFA World Rankings – ASEAN

97. Vietnam (+2)

109. Thailand (+5)

126. Philippines (+1)

147. Myanmar (-2)

158. Malaysia (0)

159. Singapore (-1)

171. Indonesia (-4)

172. Cambodia (-3)

188. Laos (-1)

191. Brunei Darussalam (0)

198. Timor-Leste (+1)

(Photo credit: FA Thailand)

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Philippines first ASEAN side to take points off China PR after Indonesia 62 years ago

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

Philippines national team put on a solid display to hold China PR to a goalless draw in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City on Tuesday.

Thanks to the heroics of Cardiff City FC star Neil Etheridge between the sticks and the likes of Alvaro Silva in the defence, the Azkals managed to earn a point against a Chinese side to whom they lost 3-0 in the group stages of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 earlier this year.

Scott Cooper’s side had lost 5-2 to Syria in their opener in the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round, but bounced back with a 4-1 win over Guam in Dededo in their second outing.

The goalless draw against Marcello Lippi’s China in their third game means that they have four points from three matches and sit third in Group A, five points behind leaders Syria and three behind Team Dragon.

The enormity of the feat that the Azkals achieved against China, that featured the likes of RCD Espanyol forward Wu Lei and newly-naturalised Elkeson, is signified by the fact that in doing so, Philippines became the first ASEAN side to get at least a point against China in the World Cup Qualifiers for over six decades.

The last time an ASEAN side grabbed a point against China was Indonesia back in 1957 when Tim Garuda eliminated them from the 1958 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in the AFC first round — 62 years 4 months 9 days ago! 

Indonesia and China had competed in the first round of the 1958 World Cup Qualifiers with Indonesia defeating China 2-0 in the first match held at the Ikada Stadium in Jakarta thanks to a brace from Indonesia great Ramang.

However, China bounced back with a 4-3 win over Timnas at the Xiannongtan Stadium in Beijing. With both sides collecting three points after the two games, a play-off at a neutral venue was scheduled to decide which team made it to the second round.

That game was played at the Aung San Stadium in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon in Myanmar), but the match remained goalless after extra time.

Indonesia were the ones who progressed though due to their better goal average as penalty shootouts were yet to be invented back in the 1950s!

Unfortunately, that was also the end of Indonesia’s 1958 World Cup qualification as the team withdrew from the second round after FIFA rejected their request to play Israel on a neutral ground.

After that defeat, China have recorded 18 straight victories against ASEAN sides in the World Cup Qualifiers over the years. But it looks like, the Southeast Asian nations are now starting to catch up!

(Photos credit: Philippine Football Federation)

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‘There’s nothing to be afraid of’ – Philippines coach Scott Cooper ahead of China clash

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

Philippines coach Scott Cooper has said that the Azkals will have nothing be fearful of when they face China PR in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday.

The Filipinos, who have recorded one win and one defeat so far in the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round, are hosting the Chinese at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City on October 15.

The Azkals had lost to Syria 5-2 in their opening match of the qualification event, but bounced back to defeat Guam 4-1 on the second matchday. On the other hand, China had defeated Maldives 5-0 in their opener last month and are travelling to Bacolod on the back of a 7-0 defeat of Guam on October 10.

However, Cooper who is in charge of the side despite only playing deputy to Goran Milojevic on paper, said that they shouldn’t be fearful of Marcello Lippi’s China who have scored 12 goals in 180 minutes of football in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.

“I don’t think there’s anything to be fearful of. We know that they have a very good coach, a well-organszed team, a strong powerful team and a competent well-financed team with a good front three,” Cooper was quoted as saying by the Inquirer Sports.

“They also have to travel here [to Bacolod],” the former Muangthong United and Buriram United head coach added.

Philippines warmed up for the China clash with a 3-1 win over Thai League 1 outfit Chainat Hornbill as Angel Guirado, Joven Bedic and Mark Hartmann scored the goals for the victors.

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Ceres-Negros FC crowned Philippines Football League champions for third time running

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

Ceres-Negros FC have been crowned the champions of Philippines Football League for the third successive season after a 3-1 win over Green Archers United at the Binan Football Stadium in Laguna on Saturday.

Filipino midfielder John Celiz had given the Green Archers a 1-0 lead against the league leaders in the 24th minute, but Ceres equalised early in the second half when  Angélo Marasigan found the back of the net in the 50th minute.

The comeback was complete when a quick-fire brace from Bienvenido Maranon with goals coming in the 81st and 87th minutes gave the Busmen all three points from the game and an unassailable lead in the league table over the second-placed Kaya FC-Iloilo as the 2019 PFL season enters its final sets of matches.

Risto Vidakovic’s Ceres now have 56 points from 20 matches that include 17 wins and two draws while Kaya FC only have 50 points having played one match more — their 3-1 win over Stallion Laguna on Saturday not enough to deny their rivals clinching the title.

The win meant that Ceres are still unbeaten in the league this season also having set an all-time PFL record of winning 16 matches in succession.

Winning the PFL will also secure the Bacolod-based club a place in the 2020 AFC Champions League Preliminary Round 1. If they fail to qualify for the main event of the ACL 2020, Ceres will represent Philippines in the AFC Cup 2020.

Ceres-Negros had also won the first two editions of the Philippines Football League in 2017 and 2018.

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2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Roundup: Big guns Iran, South Korea, China & Japan fire while Qatar huff and puff again

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

The third matchday of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday saw huge wins for the likes of IR Iran, China PR, Korea Republic, Kyrgyz Republic and Japan while ASEAN sides faltered.

While Iran thrashed Cambodia 14-0, China PR put Guam to sword with a 7-0 win. Korea Republic condemned Sri Lanka to an 8-0 defeat and Kyrgyz Republic beat Myanmar 7-0. As Singapore and Indonesia also fell to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) respectively, the sole winner from ASEAN on Matchday 3 was Vietnam who defeated regional rivals Malaysia 1-0 in Group G.

Meanwhile, Qatar, who were held to a goalless draw by India at Doha in their previous outing, had to sweat it out to defeat Bangladesh 2-0 in an away fixture. However, they weren’t helped by the condition of the pitch at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.

Here, we take a comprehensive look at all the results from October 10’s 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round ties held across eight groups.

Group A – China, Syria record back-to-back wins

Tianjin Tianhai striker Yang Xu netted four times in 31 minutes as China PR thrashed minnows Guam 7-0 at the Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou. Espanyol attacker Wu Lei, Jiangsu Suning midfielder Wu Xi and newly-naturalized forward Elkeson were also on the scoresheet as Team Dragon recorded their second win from as many matches in the qualification event. Meanwhile, Syria followed up its 5-2 win over Philippines from the opening day with a 2-1 win over Maldives at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai. Prolific scorer Omar Al-Somah scored in the 26th and 60th minutes to give the Assyrians a 2-0 lead before veteran Ali Ashfaq pulled one back for the island nation in the 70th minute. China and Syria occupy the top spots in Group A with six points apiece.

Group B – Australia thrash Nepal 5-0; Nothing to separate Kuwait and Jordan

Australia maintained their 100 per cent record in the World Cup Qualifiers campaign with a 5-0 win over Nepal at the Canberra Stadium as Melbourne City FC striker Jamie Maclaren scored a treble. Scottish-born defender Harry Souttar, who plays for League One’s Fleetwood Town, also scored on his debut for the Socceroos whose other goal came from the boots of Dinesh Rajbanshi who scored in the wrong end. Meanwhile, Vital Borkelmans’ Jordan were held to a goalless draw by Kuwait at the Amman International Stadium in the other match in the group. Australia top the group with six points while Kuwait and Jordan are second and third respectively with four points each.

Group C – Team Melli demolish Cambodia 14-0; Iraq get maiden win

Cambodia suffered their worst defeat ever in international football as they went down 14-0 to IR Iran at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran. Marc Wilmots’ Team Melli ran the Angkor Warriors ragged in the 90 minutes and could have won by a bigger margin had they been more clinical in front of the goal. Zenit St Petersburg striker Sardar Azmoun completed a first-half hattrick while Karim Ansarifard added four to his name in what was a walk in the park for the home side. There were also braces for Mehdi Taremi and Mohammad Mohebi while Ahmad Nourollahi and Mehrdad Mohammadi settled for a goal apiece. Iraq recorded their first win in the other fixture of Group C as they overcame Hong Kong 2-0 at Basra Sports City. Mohanad Ali found the opener for the Lions of Mesopotamia in the 38th minute before Ali Adnan sealed the win in the 79th minute with a penalty.

Group D – Revitalised Uzbekistan back to winning ways

Vadim Abramov’s return as the head coach of Uzbekistan made for a memorable occasion as his side thrashed Yemen 5-0 at the Pakhtakor Central Stadium in Tashkent to record their first three-pointer of the qualification campaign. Sanjar Kodirkulov opened the scoring for the home side as early as the third minute before Eldor Shomurodov made it 2-0 before the half time. Jamshid Iskanderov, Islom Tukhtakhujaev and Igor Sergeev in the second half as Uzbekistan set aside their shock opening day defeat to Palestine. Meanwhile, Singapore were condemned to their first defeat of the campaign by Saudi Arabia who ran out 3-0 winners at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah in the late kick off. Abdulfattah Asiri scored once in each half while Abdullah Al-Hamdan found the other goal for the Green Falcons. 

Group E – Qatar huff and puff to 2-0 win over Bangladesh

Asian champions Qatar were once again far from convincing as they recorded a 2-0 win over Bangladesh on a muddy Bangabandhu National Stadium turf. Felix Sanchez’s side was held to a goalless draw by India in their previous World Cup Qualifiers tie and the Maroons once again failed to find their top gear against a South Asian opposition. Yusuf Abdurisag put the visitors ahead in the 28th minute, but the Qataris had to wait until the second-half injury time to find their second through Karim Boudiaf. Meanwhile, Oman took the second spot in the group with their second win from as many matches. They defeated Afghanistan 3-0 at the Al Seeb Stadium with a brace from Abdul Aziz Al-Muqbali and a second-half penalty from Muhsen Al-Ghassani.

Group F – Big wins for Kyrgyz Republic and Japan

Kyrgyz Republic recorded their first win of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in grand fashion as they thrashed Myanmar 7-0 at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan had lost to Tajikistan in their opener, but Edgar Bernhardt starred with a hattrick in their maiden win. Alimardon Shukurov netted twice while Gulzhigit Alykulov and Dinamo Minsk full-back Valery Kichin also scored for the Aleksandr Krestinin-coached side as they condemned Miodrag Radulovic’s Myanmar to their third loss. Meanwhile, Japan had six different names on the scoresheet as they overcame Mongolia 6-0 at the Saitama Stadium 2002. Takumi Minamino, Maya Yoshida, Yuto Nagatomo, Kensuke Nagai, Wataru Endo, and Daichi Kamada found the back of the net for Hajime Moriyasu’s side as they made it two wins from two.

Group G – Vietnam edge Malaysia 1-0; Indonesia suffer third defeat 

ASEAN champions Vietnam recorded their first win of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers as Park Hang-seo’s men edged Malaysia 1-0 at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi. Hanoi FC starlet Nguyen Quang Hai scored the only goal of the game in the 40th minute of the fixture which pitted the finalists of last year’s AFF Suzuki Cup 2018. Meanwhile, Indonesia suffered their third defeat of the World Cup Qualifiers as they went down 5-0 to group favourites United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai. Veteran striker Ali Mabkhout scored a hattrick for the Whites while Khalil Ibrahim and Tareeq Ahmed also added to the score. Simon McMenemy’s side had suffered losses to ASEAN rivals Malaysia and Thailand in their qualifiers ties last month.

Group H – Kim Shin-wook scores four in Korea Republic’s 8-0 rout of Sri Lanka

Shanghai Shenhua forward Kim Shin-wook scored four as Korea Republic thrashed Sri Lanka 8-0 at the Hwaseong Stadium. Tottenham Hotspur star Song Heung-min opened the scoring for the South Koreans in the 10th minute before Kim took the center-stage. Son did find a second when he converted from the spot in the first-half injury time while Hwang Hee-chan and Kwon Chang-hoon also netted for the Koreans. Lebanon got its first points on board in the World Cup Qualifiers as they defeated Turkmenistan 2-1 at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in Beirut. Hilal El-Helwe gave the Cedars the lead in the fifth minute, but Altymyrat Annadurdyyew restored the parity in the 62nd minute. But the Lebanese reply was swift as Nader Matar scored two minutes later to seal the first win for his side.

(Photo credit: Qatar Football Association)

Five ASEAN countries that will jointly bid for 2034 FIFA World Cup revealed

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

The 2034 FIFA World Cup joint-bid from ASEAN is picking up steam with a high-level meeting between Southeast Asian countries agreeing on which five countries will actually be part of the bid.

The joint-bid for the one of, if not, the biggest sporting events in the world was a topic of discussion at the fifth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Sports which was held in Manila, Philippines the other day.

And it was decided during the conference that five ASEAN nations — Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam — will feature as the host nations in the proposed joint bid.

This means that Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Philippines will not host the matches in the 2034 World Cup if the bid is successful.

Bangkok Post quoted Thailand Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn when reporting that the five-nation bid was approved during the meeting and Thailand would play the leading role in ASEAN’s joint bid.

China PR, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Australia are among other countries who have already expressed interest in hosting the 25th edition of the football World Cup in 2034.

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Revealed: Crazy reason why Juventus star Mario Mandzukic’s transfer to Qatar club Al Rayyan fell through

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic was on the verge of a move away from the Serie A last month with Qatar Stars League side Al Rayyan SC the preferred destination. 

The Croatia international, who reached the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, was deemed surplus to requirement by Maurizio Sarri at Juventus and was left out of Bianconeri’s squad for the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League.

After rumours linking him with several clubs in Europe including Manchester United, the 33-year-old had finally entered contract negotiations with Qatar Stars League side Al Rayyan.

Al Rayyan had reportedly offered the forward a huge €7 million salary, and were willing to pay the €10 million transfer fee that the Italian giants were demanding for letting Mandzukic go.

However, the Qatari club announced on September 29 that they had stopped negotiations with Mandzukic and were no more interested in his signature.

Now, the a possible reason for the talks breaking down has emerged.

According to reports in Qatar, Al Rayyan had backed out of the negotiations, despite almost reaching a final agreement, because of Mandzukic’s crazy demand that “anything he would purchase in Qatar be paid for by the club!”

Al Rayyan, apparently, did not entertain the demand and Mandzukic will now continue his stay in Italy at least until when the transfer window reopens in January.

16-year-old Farhan Zulkifli in Tatsuma Yoshida’s 23-man Singapore squad for October’s World Cup Qualifiers

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

Singapore national team head coach Tastuma Yoshida has named a 23-strong squad for the Lions’ 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers ties to be held in October.

Singapore is set to face Saudi Arabia in Jeddah on October 10 and Uzbekistan at National Stadium in Kallang on October 15 in Group D of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round.

They will also play Jordan in a friendly match in Amman on October 5. Singapore was held to a 2-2 draw by Yemen in their World Cup Qualifiers opener on September 5 before they defeated Palestine 2-1 on September 10.

And Japanese tactician Yoshida has made two changes to the squad that took part in the September’s qualification matches. Geylang international midfielder Firdaus Kasman and 16-year-old Hougang United winger Farhan Zulkifli are the fresh additions to the Singapore roster.

Farhan had become the second-youngest goal scorer in the Singapore Premier League at 16 years and 231 days old when he scored for Hougang in a 2-0 win over Home United back in June 2019.

Singapore’s 23-member squad for October’s 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

GOALKEEPERS: Hassan Sunny (Army United), Izwan Mahbud (Nongbua Pitchaya), Zharfan Rohaizad (Young Lions)

DEFENDERS: Amirul Adli (Tampines Rovers), Baihakki Khaizan (Trat FC), Darren Teh (Geylang International), Irfan Fandi (BG Pathum United), Nazrul Nazari (Hougang United), Safuwan Baharudin (Pahang FA), Shakir Hamzah (Kedah FA), Zulqarnaen Suzliman (Young Lions)

MIDFIELDERS: Farhan Zulkifli (Hougang United), Firdaus Kasman (Geylang International), Hami Syahin (Home United), Hariss Harun (Johor Darul Ta’zim), Shahdan Sulaiman (Tampines Rovers), Yasir Hanapi (Tampines Rovers)

FORWARDS: Fareez Farhan (Geylang International), Faris Ramli (Hougang United), Gabriel Quak (Warriors FC), Hazzuwan Halim (Balestier Khalsa), Ikhsan Fandi (Raufoss IL), Shawal Anuar (Geylang International)

(Photo courtesy: Singapore Premier League)

Vadim Abramov returns as Uzbekistan head coach to replace Hector Cuper

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

Vadim Abramov will return as the head coach of the Uzbekistan national team after the Uzbekistan Football Association sacked Hector Cuper the other day.

Abramov was in charge of the Uzbekistan national team during the 2011 AFC Asian Cup held in Qatar and took them to the semifinals of the continental championship — their best-ever finish in the competition.

The 57-year-old was previously manager of FC Bunyodkor in Uzbekistan and has also managed the likes of Lokomotiv Tashkent, FC Pakhtakor Tashkent, FC Neftchi Fergana and Astana FC.

Abramov’s first match in charge of the White Wolves will come in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Yemen at the Pakhtakor Central Stadium in Tashkent on October 10 followed by a trip to Singapore on October 15.

Argentine coach Cuper was sacked by Uzbekistan following a 2-0 defeat to Palestine in their opening match of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round on September 5. They were also held to a goalless draw by Iraq in a friendly match on September 9 forcing UFA’s hands.

Cuper had guided the Uzbeks to the Round of 16 of AFC Asian Cup 2019 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this year where they were knocked out by Australia in penalty shootouts.

FIFA World Rankings announced: Myanmar and Indonesia among biggest fallers in the world

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

The FIFA World Rankings has been announced and the table has seen some big changes following two rounds of matches in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers held earlier this month. 

Vietnam continue to be the top-ranked side in ASEAN sitting 99th in the latest rankings, however the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 champions have slipped out of Top 15 in Asia after falling two places compared to the previous rankings update dated July 25.

Thailand, who held Vietnam to a goalless draw before beating Indonesia 3-0 for their first win in the World Cup Qualifiers, climb one place to occupy the 114th place while ASEAN No. 3 Philippines drop one place to 127. 

Myanmar, who lost to Mongolia and Japan in the qualifiers, are one of the biggest fallers in the world in this edition of the rankings dropping 10 positions to 145th. Only Nicaragua (148th) and Eswatini (150th) have fallen more places than Myanmar — 11.

Singapore, on the other hand, climb five places to take the 157th spot after a 2-2 draw with Yemen and 2-1 win over Palestine, while Malaysia are close on their heels at 158th after gaining a place in the world rankings.

Indonesia became another ASEAN side to drop deep falling seven places to 167th after home defeats to Malaysia and Thailand. Cambodia are 169th after climbing one position.

Laos and Brunei Darussalam both gained one position in the rankings to occupy 187th and 191st positions respectively. Timor-Leste are the lowest ranked ASEAN Football Federation member at 199th despite gaining two places.

At the top end of the rankings, IR Iran continue to be the best side in Asia sitting 23rd in the world while Japan have climbed two spots to 31st. Korea Republic remain in 37th position as Asia’s third-best side while Australia climb two places to 44th.

FIFA World Rankings September 2019 – ASEAN

99. Vietnam -2

114. Thailand +1

127. Philippines -1

145. Myanmar -10

157. Singapore +5

158. Malaysia +1

167. Indonesia -7

169. Cambodia +1

187. Laos +1

191. Brunei Darussalam +1

199. Timor-Leste +2

2020 AFC U16 Championship Qualifiers: Singapore suffer 2-1 defeat to Hong Kong; DPR Korea record 16-0 win!

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

Hosts Singapore have began their 2020 AFC U16 Championship Qualifiers campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Hong Kong in Group I at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Singapore U-15 national team head coach Philippe Aw had seen his side take an early lead in front of their supporters when Khairin Nadim Rahim found the back of the net as early as the ninth minute.

However, Hong Kong were back level before half time as Lee Tsz Hin scored the equaliser in the 35th minute. The score remained the same for most of the remainder of the game and it looked like the two sides were going to split the points.

However, disaster struck hosts Singapore in the additional minutes of the second half when the referee awarded the visitors a penalty and Lee Lok Him converted it past goalkeeper Veer Karan Sobti.

Meanwhile, in the opening match of Group I earlier in the day, DPR Korea humbled Guam 16-0.

Ri Kum-chol scored five, Choe Song-jin four, Ri Il-song scored three and Yom Chol-gyong a brace while there were also goals for Kim Kwang-ryong and Ryu Kwong-ung in the thrashing.

(Photo courtesy: FA Singapore via AFC)

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2020 AFC U16 Championship Qualifiers: Indonesia begin with 4-0 hammering of Philippines

“Xavi out!” – Al Sadd fans chant for star’s exit after latest loss in Qatar

Indonesia got their 2020 AFC U16 Championship Qualifiers campaign off to a winning start after thrashing Philippines 4-0 in a Group G fixture at the Gelora Bung Karno Madya Stadium, Jakarta.

Philippines had thrashed Northern Mariana Islands 7-0 in their opening match on September 14, but hosts Indonesia proved to be too strong for them in their second outing as Ahmad Athallah opened the scoring for head coach Bima Sakti’s side in the 37th minute.

Marselino Ferdinan added a second for Indonesia shortly after the restart before Alfin Lestaluhu made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute. A fourth came in the 78th minute from the boots of Wahyu Mulyono to seal the three points for the hosts.

Brunei Darussalam, who had suffered a 7-0 defeat to China PR in their Group G opener, recorded their first points of the campaign after thrashing Northern Mariana Islands 5-1. Idzzaham Aleshahmezan scored a hat-trick for Brunei while Danisyh Syariee and Syaherrul Affendy added one apiece to give them all three points.

Meanwhile, in Group H, Timor-Leste also recovered from an opening day defeat to thrash Macau 6-1. Willian Vong, Fernando de Carvalho, Matias Guterres and Zenivio Mota found the back of the net once each while Alexandro Lemos scored a brace for the East Timorese who had lost 2-0 to Vietnam in their opener.

Mongolia were beaten 2-1 by Australia in the other Group H fixture as two own goals from Altanshagai Delgernasan and Tuguldur Batsukh came to the rescue of Joeys in Hanoi.

In Group A, Tajikistan began their campaign by inflicting an 8-0 defeat on Sri Lanka at the Prince Mohammed Stadium in Zarqa, Jordan. Nepal, who were thrashed 7-0 by hosts Jordan in the opener, managed to get a point on board after holding Kuwait to a 1-1 draw in the other match of the group.

(Photo courtesy: PSSI)

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2020 AFC U16 Championship Qualifiers: Philippines, Vietnam begin with wins

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ASEAN sides Philippines and Vietnam have registered winning starts in the opening match of their 2020 AFC U16 Championship Qualifiers campaign.

As many as 47 teams from across the continent will take part in the AFC U16 Championship Qualifiers to be held in 11 groups. Eleven group winners as well as the four best runners-up will qualify for the final tournament to be held in September-October 2020.

In Group A, hosts Jordan thrashed Nepal 7-0 while Kuwait defeated Sri Lanka 2-0 in the other match. Tajikistan are the other team in the group.

In Group G being held in Indonesia’s Jakarta, Philippines thrashed Northern Mariana Islands at the Madya Stadium. John Jalique scored a hattrick for the young Azkals while Vincent Saludo, David Pahud, Benjamin Palacio and Simon del Campo also scored.

China PR also recorded a 7-0 win over Brunei Darussalam in the other match of the group which also features hosts Indonesia.

In Group H, hosts Vietnam defeated Timor-Leste 2-0 with goals coming from Nguyen Van Duong and Pham Van Phong in Hanoi. Mongolia edged Macau 1-0 in the other match in the Group which also features Australia.

(Photo courtesy: AFC)

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