2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Roundup: India escape with Bangladesh draw; UAE, Iran succumb to defeats

World Cup Qualifiers

The fourth matchday of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday saw group favourites United Arab Emirates (UAE) and IR Iran succumb to shock defeats at the hands of Thailand and Bahrain respectively. 

The meeting between the two Koreas — Korea Republic and DPR Korea — ended in a goalless draw while an impressive Philippines extracted a point out of their China PR game. Elsewhere, Bangladesh managed a 1-1 away draw with India while Palestine also held fancied visitors Saudi Arabia for a point in Al Ram.

Here, we take a comprehensive look at all the results from October 15’s 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round ties held across eight groups in Asia.

Group A – Azkals earn hard-fought draw with China at Panaad

Philippines managed to hold visitors China PR to a goalless draw in front of around 3,000 supporters at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City — just months after losing 3-0 to Team Dragon in the group stages of the AFC Asian Cup 2019. Neil Etheridge returned to keep the goal for the hosts after missing out on September’s World Cup Qualifiers and it was the Cardiff City custodian who was the hero for Azkals on a memorable night. Meanwhile, Syria striker Omar Al Somah made it seven goals from three World Cup Qualifiers ties after his latest hattrick helped his team defeat whipping boys Guam 4-0 and top the Group A standings. Syria have nine points winning all three of their outings while China and Philippines sit second and third with seven and four points respectively.

Group B – Australia, Jordan record routine wins

It was easy wins for both Australia and Jordan in the fourth set of fixtures in Group B. While Australia thrashed Chinese Taipei 7-1 at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung, Vital Borkelmans’ Jordan recorded a 3-0 win over Nepal at the Amman International Stadium. While Adam Taggart, Jackson Irvine and Harry Souttar all scored two goals apiece for the Socceroos, Jamie Maclaren followed up his hattrick from five days ago against Nepal with Australia’s seventh and final goal in the 83rd minute. Meanwhile, it was Feras Shelbaieh’s second-half penalty that open the scoring for Jordan against Nepal before Ahmad Ersan and Baha’ Faisal scored to help them bounce back from a goalless draw with Kuwait in their previous match.

Group C – Bahrain stun Iran with 1-0 win as Iraq go top


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Just days after demolishing Cambodia 14-0, IR Iran suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Bahrain at the Bahrain National Stadium in Riffa in Group C. Mohammed Al Hardan sent Team Melli goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand the wrong way from the spot to net the 65th-minute winner and bring an end to Iran’s perfect start to the World Cup Qualifiers. Meanwhile, Srecko Katanec’s Iraq recorded a 4-0 win over Cambodia at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium to go top of the group with seven points. Bahrain also have the same number of points as Iraq, but find themselves in the second place on goal difference while Marc Wilmots’ Iran are third with six points from three matches.

Group D – Palestine hold Saudi Arabia to goalless draw 

Group D saw Palestine manage a creditable goalless draw against Group D favourites Saudi Arabia at the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium in Al Ram. Palestine had produced a 2-0 upset of Uzbekistan in their opening fixture last month before going down to Singapore 2-1 and the hard-earned point against the Green Falcons make it four points from three for the Lions of Canaan. Meanwhile, Uzbekistan made it back-to-back wins under new head coach Vadim Abramov after a 3-1 victory over Singapore at the National Stadium in Kallang. Odil Ahmedov gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute, but young Singapore striker Ikhsan Fandi levelled the score with a header in the first-half added time. However, an Eldor Shomurodov brace after the restart saw the Uzbeks collect all three points.

Group E – Adil Khan saves India’s blushes against neighbours Bangladesh

In the clash of two South Asian rivals in Group E, hosts India were fortunate to escape with a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata. Over 60,000 fans had flocked the Salt Lake Stadium to support the Blue Tigers who had held Asian champions Qatar to a goalless draw in Doha last month, but the visitors silenced the crowd three minutes before half time when Saad Uddin gave Bangladesh the lead. India looked for a reply in the second half and had to wait until the 88th minute when defender Adil Khan headed in to rescue a point for Igor Stimac’s side. Qatar stay top of Group E with 10 points from four matches after their 2-1 win over Oman. Almoez Ali bagged the winner for the Maroons at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in the 71st minute after Akram Afif’s second-minute opener was cancelled out by a Rabia Al Alawi goal in the 63rd minute.

Group F – Kyrgyz Republic sweat in victory over Mongolia; Japan keep winning

Kyrgyz Republic had to sweat it out against Mongolia to record a 2-1 win on the fourth matchday at the MFF Football Centre in Ulaanbaatar. Gulzhigit Alykulov had scored for the second match running to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute before Mirlan Murzaev doubled the advantage before the break. However, Mongolia captain Norjmoogiin Tsedenbal scored from the spot in the 57th minute to set up a tense ending to the game for Kyrgyzstan. Meanwhile, Japan made it three wins out of three after a 3-0 defeat of Tajikistan at the Central Republican Stadium in Dushanbe. Takumi Minamino with a brace and Takuma Asano were on the scoresheet for Hajime Moriyasu’s side.

Group G – Battle heats up after wins for Thailand and Vietnam

Group G has been thrown wide open after Thailand defeated UAE 2-1 at the Thammasat Stadium in Pathum Thani on the fourth matchday. Teerasil Dangda opened the scoring for the War Elephants in the 26th minute, but the Emiratis struck back through veteran Ali Mabkhout in the dying minutes of the first half. However, Akira Nishino’s men had the final say in the game as 19-year-old Ekanit Panya tapped in the winner in the 51st minute. Meanwhile, Vietnam condemned Indonesia to their fourth straight defeat of the campaign in the other fixture. Do Duy Manh, Que Ngoc Hai and Nguyen Tien Linh scored for Park Hang-seo’s side as the calls for head coach Simon McMenemy’s resignation got louder in Indonesia. Thailand and Vietnam top the group with seven points while UAE are third with a point less than the ASEAN duo.

Group H – Historic meeting between the Koreas ends in goalless draw

South Korea’s first foray into North Korea since 1990 ended in a goalless draw as FIFA president Gianni Infantino witnessed the historic meeting at an albeit empty Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang. The draw meant that both Korea Republic and DPR Korea top Group H of the World Cup Qualifiers with seven points from three games in the second round of World Cup Qualifiers. Meanwhile, Lebanon put pressure on the two Koreas after a 3-0 win over Sri Lanka at the Racecourse Stadium in Colombo. Veteran forward Hassan Maatouk opened the scoring for the Cedars from a penalty in the 15th minute before a Hilal El-Helwe brace in the second half sealed the result for the visitors who now have six points in their account.

(Photos credit: AFC)