Asian World Cup Qualifying
• Australia 1-1 Japan
• Iraq 4-0 Thailand
• Uzbekistan 2-0 China
• Iran 1-0 South Korea
• Qatar 1-0 Syria
• Saudi Arabia v UAE: Match report
Qatar v Syria
Qatar earned their first points in Group A, edging Syria in Doha.
The Syrians had earlier shocked China and had a chance to go level on points with South Korea for third in the group, but could not find a way past the Qatari defence.
The hosts went found the margin from Hasan Al Haydos’ penalty on 37 minutes.
Iran v South Korea
In a meeting of Group A’s top two sides in Tehran, Iran took control of their World Cup qualification course with a 1-0 win on Tuesday.
The hosts’ Sardar Azmoun, a 21-year-old forward with Russia’s Leicester City-esque side FK Rostov, scored the affair’s lone goal on 25 minutes. Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min saw yellow on 42 minutes, but little else of note occurred for the frustrated Koreans.
The result surprisingly leaves Uzbekistan, after four of the final Asian qualification stage’s 10 matches, in second and on course to reach Russia 2018. Iran top the group with 10 points, followed by the Uzbeks on nine and South Korea now on seven. Syria, on four, could go level with them if they defeat Qatar in Group A’s late match.
Uzbekistan v China
Uzbekistan continue to seriously threaten for a place at the 2018 World Cup, as they provisionally went top of Group A on Tuesday night with a 2-0 win over China.
It was the Uzbeks’ third win in four of the 10 matches at the final qualification stage for Asia. The top two from each group advance automatically, with third place qualifying for a further series of play-offs.
Iran and South Korea play later. With both on seven points, a draw would leave Uzbekistan on top of the group.
In Tashkent, Uzbekistan broke a goalless deadlock early in the second half on Marat Bikmajev’s strike. On 85 minutes, 20-year-old substitute Otabek Shukurov sealed the result with another goal.
Iraq v Thailand
Mohannad Abdulraheem dominated the affair, scoring all four goals as Iraq took their first three points of the final qualifying stage with a 4-0 win over Thailand.
Abdulraheem opened his account just seven minutes into the contest, and on 25 minutes doubled his tally.
Thailand defender Korawit Namwiset was shown red on 69 minutes and Abdulraheem, a 23-year-old forward for leading Algerian side JS Kabylie, again doubled the lead with goals on 87 minutes and four minutes into added time.