Goals galore in World Cup qualifying

I don’t feel sad, I feel happy – Torres on retirement

Match day six in the second preliminary stage of the joint AFC 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers finished with a bang on Tuesday.

Qatar were the biggest winners; securing a 4-0 victory against the Maldives at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium to move five points clear at the summit of Group C.

The home side dominated the match from the first whistle and got their just reward in the 28th minute when Boualem Khoukhi's scored the opener.

The Maldives managed to keep the hosts at bay for what remained of the first half, but the men from the Gulf kept pressing and tripled their lead in the space of a minute midway through the second half.

Mohamed Kasola made it 2-0 when he turned in a cross in the 69th minute and Khoukhi bagged his second just 60 seconds later.

Mohamed Musa completed the rout in the 92nd minute when he scored the home side's 24th goal of the campaign so far.

Syria have placed themselves in a similarly dominant position in Group E after they secured a 5-2 victory over Afghanistan at the Seeb Stadium in Muscat, Oman.

Osama Omari scored in the ninth and 21st minutes to hand Syria a comfortable lead and Mahmoud Al Mawas seemed to have wrapped up the points when he struck in the 31st minute.

However, Afghanistan refused to accept defeat and Noraollah Amiri gave his side some hope with a goal shortly before half time.

Faysal Shayesteh narrowed the deficit even further when he struck in the 78th minute to kick off an action-packed finish to the match.

The goal seemed to wake Syria from their slumber and they restored the two goal lead when Omari completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute. Al Mawas added a touch of gloss to the final score when he scored his second in the 90th minute.

The victory leaves Syria two points clear at the top of Group E.

Jordan won their Group B match against minnows Tajikistan 3-0 at the Amman International Stadium.

The match was goalless for 65 minutes until Hamza Al Daradreh found a breakthrough to hand his side the lead.

Jordan doubled their lead just two minutes later when Hassan Abdel-Fattah scored his fifth goal of the qualifying campaign, before Al Daradreh put the result beyond doubt and secured his second brace in as many games.

Al Daradreh and co currently top the group on 13 points, with Australia trailing by four in second.

Meanwhile, Kuwait and Lebanon have retained second and third respectively in Group G after playing to a goalless draw at the Kuwait Sports Club Stadium.


Qatar 4-0 Maldives
Syria 5-2 Afghanistan
Jordan 3-0 Tajikistan
Kuwait 0-0 Lebanon