AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifying got underway on Tuesday (as long as you forget about the Taiwan-Turkmenistan clash from last week) with 10 games producing a lot of goals and more than a few interesting incidents.
FOX Sports Asia takes a light-hearted look at the action.
Smash and grab of the round
Despite being under the cosh for most of the game in Yangon, India managed to escape from Myanmar with the win and three points thanks to an injury time winner from goal machine Sunil Chhetri.
Credit to Chhetri, who started the move in his own half before sprinting the length of the pitch to tuck away the winning goal from substitute Udanta Singh’s cross. Not bad for a 32-year old!
— football news india (@fni) March 28, 2017
It was a three points the Indians barely deserved after Myanmar dominated for most of the game, but they won’t be complaining and neither will coach Stephen Constantine.
Most dogged defending
You have to give credit to Singapore coach V Sundramoorthy, Mr Ultra-defensive been trying to get his team to keep a clean sheet for more than four months (their last one was in a friendly against Cambodia back in November), and he finally achieved it on Tuesday as the Lions managed to grind out a 0-0 draw in Bahrain.
Keeper Hassan Sunny was the hero, making several crucial stops.
Now all Sundram has to do is solve Singapore’s most ‘striking’ problem – their lack of goals. The goal-shy Lions have scored a measly seven goals in 14 games since Sundram took over in May 2016. Oh, how the Dazzler wishes he was still young enough to put his boots on!
Best individual performance
All hail Oman’s Abdulaziz Al Maqbali, who netted an astonishing six – yes, SIX goals – as Oman defeated the mighty Bhutan.
Yes, we know Oman were only playing Bhutan, who with a population of roughly 750,000 and barely enough flat ground for a football pitch, are no great shakes. But, as any striker will tell you, you still have to put the ball in the net!
Rumours that the Bhutan players were suffering from the heat and reverse altitude sickness are totally unfounded!
Most heartless official
This one goes to Hussein Abo Yehia of Lebanon. Alright, we understand that he may have been a bit irritable after having to run back to the halfway line so many times, but with Bhutan already 12-0 down, did he really have to award Oman a penalty?
Yes, it was a push in the box, and under any circumstances it would have ordinarily been a penalty (Well, maybe not if it was Marcos Rojo in front of the Stretford End), but come on. Show some pity, man!
Worst defending – Chen Chia Chun (Chinese Taipei)
Even the world’s best defenders score own goals, but this one takes the biscuit – in fact it takes the whole packet! (watch from 3:50 for the horror show)
Best performance – Jordan (Jordan 7-0 Cambodia)
We all knew Jordan were going to win, but we didn’t think they’d win by seven goals. Hats off to striker Hamza Al Dadoor, who hit a great hat-trick.