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

Belaili scores late penalty after missing open goal to send Al Ahli to group stage

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)