2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Roundup: Thailand & Singapore get first wins; Malaysia & Cambodia go down fighting

World Cup Qualifiers UAE malaysia

The second matchday of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers saw first wins for ASEAN sides Thailand and Singapore on Tuesday while Cambodia and Malaysia gave a good account of themselves in narrow defeats. 

Thailand defeated regional rivals Indonesia 3-0 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta while Singapore edged past Palestine 2-1 to amass four points from two matches so far. Here’s a roundup of all the results from Day 2 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers second round.

Group A – Elkeson scores debut brace as China PR record 5-0 win over Maldives

Guangzhou Evergrande’s Brazil-born forward Elkeson (a.k.a. Ai Kesen) was on the scoresheet twice as China PR began their World Cup Qualifiers campaign with a 5-0 win over Maldives in Male. Elkeson converted both his goals from the spot in the 83rd and 92nd minutes to add to the first-half goals from Wu Xi and Espanyol striker Wu Lei as well as another penalty in the second period scored by Tianjin Tianhai striker Yang Xu. Philippines, who had gone down 5-2 to Syria on the opening day, recorded their first win of the campaign with a comfortable 4-1 win over Guam in Dededo.

Group B – Nepal taste rare success while Socceroos begin on a winning note

Nepal recored a rare win in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers after they defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0 at the Taipei Municipal Stadium. Manang Marshyangdi forward Anjan Bista scored both the goals for the Gorkhalis in the fourth and 62nd minutes. Meanwhile, Australia began their campaign with a 3-0 win over Kuwait in Kuwait City. Kuwait, who had thrashed Nepal 7-0 last week, went behind as early as the seventh minute when Mathew Leckie opened the scoring before the Hertha BSC winger struck again at the half-hour mark. Aaron Mooy scored the third eight minutes later as the Socceroos cruised to a 3-0 win.

Group C – Team Melli record routine win; Cambodia go down fighting against Bahrain

Photo: Cambodia Football Federation

Marc Wilmot’s IR Iran defeated Hong Kong 2-0 away from home to begin their World Cup qualifying campaign with a victory. Zenit St Petersburg forward Sardar Azmoun opened the scoring in the 23rd minute before former Nottingham Forest attacker Karim Ansarifard sealed the 2-0 result in the 54th minute. Meanwhile, Cambodia, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Hong Kong in their opener, suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Bahrain at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium. Bahrain had to wait until the 78th minute to find the winner from Kamil Al Aswad who also scored in his side’s 1-1 draw against Iraq last Thursday.

Group D – Yemen hold Saudi Arabia; Singapore get first win

Yemen registered their second successive 2-2 draw in the World Cup Qualifiers after holding Group D favourites Saudi Arabia to a stalemate at the neutral venue in Bahrain. Mohsen Mohammed opened the scoring for Yemen in the eighth minute, but Hattan Bahebri restored parity in the 23rd minute. Yemen, who had held Singapore to a 2-2 draw in their opener, once again went ahead in the 37th minute — this time through Omar Al Dahi — only for the Saudis to equalise in the 48th minute through Salem Al Dawsari. Meanwhile, Singapore recorded their first win with a 2-1 win over Palestine at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Group E – India hold Asian champions Qatar to goalless draw

India produced a brave display to hold AFC Asian Cup 2019 winners and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar to a goalless draw at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha. Qatar threatened throughout the game, but the Indian defence along with goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu managed to keep out the Maroons attacks for the full 90 minutes and come away with a precious one point. In the other Group E fixture of Tuesday, Afghanistan defeated Bangladesh 1-0 at Dushanbe with the winner coming from the boots of Farshad Noor in the 27th minute.

Group F – Japan off to winning start against Myanmar

Photo: Japan Football Association

Shoya Nakajima and Takumi Minamino scored in the first half as Asian heavyweights Japan defeated Myanmar 2-0 at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon. The result as the Asian Lions’ second successive defeat in the qualification tournament after they had lost 1-0 to Mongolia on the opening day. Mongolia, who had made a winning start in their maiden appearance in the second round of the World Cup Qualifiers, could not continue their dream run as they were defeated 1-0 by Tajikistan in Ulaanbaatar.

Group G – Thailand cruise past Indonesia; UAE survive Malaysia scare! 

Photo: UAE FA

United Arab Emirates (UAE) suffered a huge scare, but managed to come back from behind to beat Malaysia 2-1 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia had suffered their heaviest defeat ever (10-0) when the two sides faced each other in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers four years ago, but this time around, it was a completely different ballgame between the two sides. Syafiq Ahmad scored his second goal from as many matches to give Malaysia a 1-0 lead within the first minute, but veteran Emirati forward Ali Mabkhout levelled the score two minutes from half time. Mabkhout was on target again in the 75th minute to give all three points to UAE. Meanwhile, Supachok Sarachat was the star of the evening as Thailand recorded a 3-0 win over Indonesia at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta. After a goalless first half, Supachok scored twice and won a penalty converted by Theerathon Bunmathaan to give the War Elephants their first win under head coach Akira Nishino.

Group H – DPR Korea record second win; Korea Republic make winning start

There were wins for both North and South Koreas in Group H of the World Cup Qualifiers. While, DPR Korea recorded their second straight win of their qualification campaign after defeating Sri Lanka 1-0 in Colombo, courtesy of a 67th-minute winner from Jang Kuk-chol. Meanwhile, Korea Republic defeated Turkmenistan 2-0 in their opening match at the Kopetdag Stadium in Ashgabat. Na Sang-ho opened the scoring for the South Koreans in the 13th minute before Al Sadd SC midfielder Jung Woo-young straight from a free kick to double their advantage in the 82nd minute.