2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Roundup: Battle heats up in Group H between South and North Koreas, Lebanon & Turkmenistan

World Cup qualifiers

It was an entertaining fifth matchday in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday as Iraq and Saudi Arabia produced late dramas while Australia, Syria and Japan made it four wins out of four in their qualification campaigns.  

Iraq condemned IR Iran to their second straight defeat with a winner at the death while Herve Renard’s Saudi scored two goals in the final five minutes to overcome Uzbekistan. While Australia and Japan maintained their perfect record, Syria’s fourth win at the expense of China PR has led to the resignation of Marcello Lippi.

Here, we take a comprehensive look at all the results from November 14’s 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers second round ties held across eight groups in Asia.

Group A – China’s defeat to Syria ends in Marcello Lippi resignation

China PR head coach Marcello Lippi has resigned after a 2-1 defeat to Syria at the Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai. Osama Omari had scored in the 19th minute to give the Assyrians the lead, but Espanyol forward Wu Lei had levelled the score before half time. However, a Zhang Linpeng own goal in the second half led to a defeat for China and a resignation from a furious Lippi at the post-match press conference. Meanwhile, Philippines, who had led to the Italian’s downfall by holding China to a goalless draw last month, continued their good run with a 2-1 win over Maldives. The Azkals now have seven points, the same as China, and sit third while Syria top the group with 12 points.

Group B – Kuwait thrash Chinese Taipei 9-0 as Australia win again

Kuwait recorded the biggest win of the matchday as they thrashed Chinese Taipei 9-0 at the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City. Yousef Nasser scored twice for the Kuwaitis who had seven difference players on the scoresheet as well as an own goal from Chen Wei-chuan. Meanwhile, Australia consolidated their position at the top with a 1-0 win over Jordan. Adam Taggart scored the only goal of the game in the 13th minute as Australia went five points clear with 12 points to their tally. Meanwhile, Kuwait and Jordan are second and third with seven points each.

Group C – Thriller sees Team Melli fall to second straight defeat 

Iraq and IR Iran played out a thriller at the Amman International Stadium in Jordan which ended in a 2-1 win for the Lions of Mesopotamia. Al Zawraa SC forward Alaa Abbas came off the bench to score the winner for Iraq in the second-half injury time against Iran who were down to 10 men by then. This means Marc Wilmots has lost back-to-back games as Iran head coach as the team now sits third in the group with six points — four behind Iraq and two behind Bahrain who were held to a goalless draw by home side Hong Kong.

Group D – Saudi resurgence downs Uzbekistan; Yemen record first win

There was late drama in Group D too as Saudi Arabia scored two late goals to record a comeback win over Vadim Abramov’s Uzbekistan. With the score at 2-1 in favour of the home side with five minutes left to play, it looked as if Uzbekistan would pull further ahead at the top of the group, but it is the Saudis who now have a two-point lead after the late flurry. Salman Al Faraj scored his second of the game in the 85th minute to level the score before Salem Al Dawsari stunned the hosts with the winner in the injury time. Meanwhile, Yemen recorded their first win of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign as they overcame Palestine 1-0, thanks to a second-half goal from Omar Al-Dahi.

Group E – Oman thrash Bangladesh 4-1; India held again

Oman are putting the pressure on group toppers Qatar in Group E of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers after a 4-1 thrashing of Bangladesh put them touching distance away from the 2022 World Cup hosts. After a goalless first half, Oman scored four past the Bangladeshis at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat to make it nine points from four matches and stay one point behind the Maroons. Meanwhile, India played out their third draw of the World Cup Qualifiers campaign as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Afghanistan.

Group F – Antoine Hey returns as Myanmar head coach with win

German tactician Antoine Hey has returned as the head coach of Myanmar and masterminded a 4-3 win over Tajikistan at the Mandalar Thiri Stadium in Mandalay. Hey, who was sacked after a disappointing AFF Suzuki Cup 2018, was called back by Myanmar after the Asian Lions lost all three of their World Cup Qualifiers ties in September and October under Miodrag Radulovic. Meanwhile, Japan made it four wins from as many matches after a comfortable 2-0 win over Kyrgyz Republic at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek.

Group G – Defeat for Thailand and UAE as Vietnam climb to top

Vietnam are now group leaders in Group G after they defeated a 10-man United Arab Emirates 1-0 at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi. A spectacular strike from Nguyen Tien Linh in the first half was the winner against UAE who played close to an hour with a man less. Meanwhile, Thailand, who had began the day at the top, slipped to second after a 2-1 defeat to ASEAN rivals Malaysia. Chanathip Songkrasin had given Akira Nishino’s side an early lead, but Brendan Gan scored and assisted goals as an impressive Harimau Malaya recorded their second win of the campaign. Malaysia and UAE now have six points each while Thailand are second with seven and Vietnam top with 10.

Group H – South Korea held by Lebanon as battle heats up

Korea Republic were held to a goalless draw by Lebanon in a closed doors qualification tie at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in Beirut. The South Koreans, who were also held to a goalless draw by North Korea at Pyongyang last month, now have eight points and are only one point ahead of Lebanon and DPR Korea. Meanwhile, Turkmenistan, who defeated the North Koreans 3-1 on Thursday, are fourth with six points. Turkmenistan will face Sri Lanka on November 19 while Lebanon and DPR Korea go head to head.

(Photo credit: Asian Football Confederation)

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