FIFA WC qualifiers: Thailand, Iran advance

Thailand were one of the teams to make sure of their place in the next round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 Asian Cup joint-qualifiers with a 2-2 draw against Iraq on Thursday.

Group F: Iraq 2-2 Thailand (Shahid Dastgerdi Stadium)

Needing only to avoid defeat to ensure they would finish in top spot in the group, Thailand looked on course after taking the lead via the boot of Mongkol Tossakai late in the first half.

Mahdi Kamil equalised for Iraq after the break, but Adisak Kraisorn restored the advantage for coach Kiatisuk Senamuang’s men in the 77th minute.

An own goal from Korawit Namwiset on the stroke of full-time briefly put the cat among the pigeons, but Thailand hung on for the the draw that sees them through.

Jordan

Group B: Jordan 8-0 Bangladesh (Amman International Stadium)

Harry Redknapp’s Jordan solidified second place in Group B with an 8-0 mauling of Bangladesh.

Hamza Al Dardoor scored a hat-trick, while Abdallah Deeb Salim, Yousef Al Rawashdeh, Baha’ Faisal, Yousef Al Naber and Ahmed Samir all got their names on the scoresheet as well.

Jordan remain two points behind group leaders Australia and five points clear of third-placed Kyrgyzstan. The two teams play in Sydney on Tuesday.

Uzbekistan

Group H: Uzbekistan 1-0 Philippines (Stadion Bunyodkor)

Uzbekistan moved top of Group H with a 1-0 victory over the Philippines.

The goal came courtesy of Anzur Asmailov in the 59th minute, and sees Uzbekistan take a two-point lead over North Korea.

The Philippines are already out of the qualifying race.

Oman

Group D: Oman 1-0 Guam (Sultan Qaboos Sport Complex)

Oman beat Guam 1-0 thanks to a 53rd minute from goal Ahmed Mubarak, although Iran’s victory over India means they will in all likelihood top Group D.

Oman could still qualify for the next round of qualifying as one of the four best-placed runners-up.

Iran

Group D: Iran 4-0 India (Azadi Stadium)

Group leaders Iran thumped India 4-0 to book their place in the next round of qualifying. While second-placed Oman could still draw level on points, Iran’s far superior goal difference means they are in no danger of relinquishing top spot.

Ehsan Hajsafi scored from the penalty spot twice, while Sardar Azmoun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh also contributed with goals.

UAE

Group A: United Arab Emirates 2-0 Palestine (Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium)

The UAE stayed within touching distance of leaders Saudi Arabia with a 2-0 victory over Palestine.

Ismaeel Al Hamadi opened the scoring midway through the first half before Ahmed Khalil converted from the spot on the hour mark.

Saudi Arabia lead the group by three points, but the UAE could draw level if they beat them when the two teams square off next week.

Saudi Arabia

Group A: Saudi Arabia 2-0 Malaysia

Saudi Arabia moved three points clear at the top of Group A with a 2-0 victory Malaysia.

Mohammad Al Sahlawi and Taisir Al Jassim were the scorers, with both goals coming in the second half, after some resolute defence from the visitors in the first.

While Malaysia are already out of the qualifying race, Group A is still alive, with the United Arab Emirates three points behind leaders Saudi Arabia and the two teams playing each other in their final games of the round.

Qatar

Group C: Qatar 2-0 Hong Kong (Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium)

Qatar maintained their flawless qualifying record with a 2-0 victory over Hong Kong. They have now collected 21 points from a possible 21.

Hassan Khalid opened the scoring on 20 minutes before Sebastián Soria made sure of the win three minutes from time.

Unfortunately for Hong Kong, defeat means they can no longer catch China in the race for second place in the group. Though both teams are on 14 points, China still have a game to play and are leading on goal difference.

Cambodia

Group E: Syria 6-0 Cambodia (Al-Seeb Stadium)

Syria ensured that Group E will go right down to the wire after thrashing Cambodia 6-0.

Omar Khribin scored a first-half brace to put the home side 2-0 up, before Abdelrazaq Al Hussain (2), Ahmad Kalasi and Sanharib Malki ran riot for Syria after the break.

The win moves Syria to within one point of leaders Japan, with the two teams set to meet next week to decide the group.

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