South Korea, Japan seal comfortable wins

There were few upsets in match day eight of the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifying tournament on Tuesday, with the minnows mostly unable to overcome the more established teams.

Qatar kept their 100 percent victory record intact when they thrashed Group C whipping boys Bhutan 3-0 at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when right wing Mohammed Muntari popped up to hand his side the lead.

Striker Hasan Al Haydos doubled the lead 13 minutes later and then added a touch of gloss to the scoreline when he completed his brace in the final minute of regulation time.

South Korea also retained their perfect record in Group G with a 5-0 win over Laos at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane.

Any visiting fans in attendance didn’t have to wait long for a reason to cheer, as Ki Sung-Yong opened the scoring as early as the third minute when he converted a penalty kick.

Laos managed to avoid going further behind for the next half-hour, but the flood gates were opened thereafter as Korea scored three in ten minutes.

Ki bagged his second in the 33rd minute, Son Heung-Min scored two minutes later and Suk Hyun-Jun made it 4-0 in the 43rd minute. Son also managed to grab a second goal when he struck in the 67th minute to complete the rout.

Meanwhile, regional powerhouse Japan was forced to battle to victory against a determined Cambodia side at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh

Japan saw several chances go narrowly wide in the first half and the sides entered half-time with the scores at 0-0.

The visitors finally got the breakthrough in the 51st minute when Cambodia midfielder Khuon Laboravy unintentionally deflected a curling free kick from Yosuke Kashiwagi into his own net.

Japan doubled their lead when Keisuke Honda found the back of the net with a header in the 90th minute.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) were also able to secure victory away from home when they edged hosts Malaysia 2-1 in a Group A clash at the Shah Alam Stadium.

Midfielder Omar Abdulrahman opened the scoring in the 22nd minute and left wing Ahmed Khalil doubled the Gulf side's advantage 30 minutes later.

Malaysia managed to halve the deficit in the 59th minute when left wing Baddrol Bakhtiar scored, but the hosts never managed to find an equaliser.

Turkmenistan won the most recent battle in the war for second place in Group D when they defeated visitors Oman 2-1 at the Kopetdag Stadium in Ashgabat.

The hosts opened the scoring in the 40th minute when forward Artur Gevorkyan broke the deadlock, and his strike partner Suleyman Muhadov doubled the lead in the 67th minute.

Substitute forward Mohammed Al Ghassani managed pull a goal back for Oman in the 70th minute, just five minutes after replacing Abdul Aziz Al Maqbali, but the host failed to find the net again.

One of the biggest upsets of match day eight came at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where the hosts defeated Jordan 1-0 in their Group B match.

The only goal of the cagey encounter came in the 48th minute when midfielder Anton Zemlianukhin fired the ball past Jordan goalkeeper Amer Sabbah.

Meanwhile, Uzbekistan made light work of home side Yemen in their Group H match at the Grand Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

The central Asian team opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Azizbek Haydarov scored after controlling a cross from skipper and left wing Odil Ahmedov.

Server Djeparov doubled the lead in the 31st minute thanks to another pinpoint pass from Ahmedov, and the captain completed his hattrick of assists 19 minutes later when Stanislav Andreev guided another inch-perfect cross into the net.

Yemen managed to add a touch of respectability to the scoreline in the 90th minute, when 17-year-old substitute Ahmed Al Sarori netted his second goal in as many games.