- Asia’s final 12 line-up full on the highway to Qatar 2022
- Vietnam seal maiden development to Spherical 3, Uzbekistan endure shock exit
- IR Iran, UAE and China PR stage late comebacks to progress
The curtain lastly got here down on Asia’s second spherical of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ with the final 12 line-up full after the closing matchday. Eight groups shored up passage on Tuesday – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, IR Iran, Iraq, Oman, Lebanon, China PR and Vietnam – to affix the already-qualified Japan, Australia, Syria and Korea Republic within the third spherical.
These groups shall be divided into two teams of six with the draw happening on 1 July. The edges will battle in opposition to one another throughout seven months from 2 September 2021 – 29 March 2022 with the highest two in every group qualifying for Qatar 2022, whereas the 2 third-placed groups will advance to the fourth spherical play-off.
Vietnam proved the most important shock packages by sealing maiden development to the third spherical. Uzbekistan, conversely, had been eradicated in surprising vogue after shedding to Saudi Arabia on the ultimate matchday. In the meantime, Iran, China and UAE all overcame erratic type early on this marketing campaign with a powerful end to progress.
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12 certified groups
Group winners: Syria, Japan, Australia, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE,
Finest runners-up: Oman, China, Lebanon, Iraq, Vietnam
Japan turned the primary aspect to safe a spot within the third spherical, with a 10-0 drubbing of Myanmar sending them via with two video games to spare. Becoming a member of them as second certified crew had been a powerful Syria, who superior by beating Guam 3-0 within the penultimate match. Australia sealed early development with seven straight victories, together with a 3-0 defeat of Nepal within the penultimate matchday, whereas a 2-1 slender win in opposition to Lebanon within the closing match noticed Korea Republic advance as group winners.
Highly effective comeback
Whereas eight certified groups left it late, three of these nations impressed by sealing qualification with 4 wins on the trot. Within the course of, each Iran and United Arab Emirates rallied to stage highly effective comeback and win their respective teams regardless of floundering early on this marketing campaign. China, underneath new boss Li Tie, emerged unstoppable together with defeating group winners Syria 3-1 within the closing match to progress as among the best runners-up.
Return to the elite
Each Oman and Lebanon sealed their return to the third spherical after lacking out on the decisive stage on the highway to Russia 2018. Regardless of shedding to group winners Qatar within the return match, the Omanis claimed three straight wins to safe their place among the many 5 greatest second-place finishers to progress. Lebanon, who ending second of their group only a level away from Turkmenistan, solely noticed their development confirmed after each Jordan and Uzbekistan misplaced within the closing matchday.
Breakthrough for Vietnam
This marketing campaign noticed the emergence of Vietnam, who made historical past by sealing maiden development into the third spherical. Having reached the final eight within the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the crew continued to make progress on the continental stage underneath coach Park Hangseo. Coming into the back-end of the marketing campaign as group leaders, the Vietnamese registered back-to-back victories in opposition to Indonesia and Malaysia and superior as among the best second positioned finishers, regardless of narrowly shedding to hosts UAE 3-2 within the concluder.
Coronary heart-breaking near-miss
It proved a painful evening for Uzbekistan, whose hopes of a primary FIFA World Cup had been shattered after shedding to Saudi Arabia 3-0 within the closing matchday. It’s the first time that the Central Asians have suffered an exit at this stage since becoming a member of AFC in 1994, having reached the ultimate qualifying spherical in every of the previous six World Cups.
A bunch of gamers introduced stepped into the highlight to assist their respective groups via. Notable amongst them was 23-year-old striker Nguyen Tien Linh, who struck 4 instances, together with scoring the match-winning aim within the first-leg assembly in opposition to UAE, to assist his aspect obtain breakthrough progress.
Korea Republic’s younger ahead Music Minkyu confirmed no stage fright in his worldwide debut, offering an help of their 5-0 rout of Turkmenistan earlier than opening the scoring within the essential win in opposition to Lebanon. On the different finish of the spectrum, skilled China striker Wu Lei proved instrumental all through, scoring seven instances to fireplace into Spherical 3.
Do you know?
Australia and Japan maintained an unblemished file throughout their second spherical marketing campaign, profitable eight from eight and conceding simply two objectives every.