Qatar and China in 0-0 stalemate
China and Qatar have played out a 0-0 draw, which has extended Australia’s lead at the top of the Group A table to three points, with three rounds remaining of the third phase of AFC World Cup qualifying.
China and Qatar have played out a 0-0 draw, which has extended Australia-s lead at the top of the Group A table to three points, with three rounds remaining of the third phase of AFC World Cup qualifying.
Australia leads with seven points, followed by Qatar on four points, China on three points and Iraq on one point. It was the second point that China has picked up on its travels to the Middle East.
That result strengthens the Socceroos position to reach the fourth phase of qualifying matches, but the second position is still very much up for grabs.
Iraq, the reigning Asian Champions, and China though cannot afford a loss at home this coming weekend, or that could be the end of it in terms of their World Cup hopes.
In Group B, surprise packets Bahrain made it three wins from three games, with a 3-2 win in Bangkok. Meanwhile Japan hit back from their loss to Bahrain, to thump Oman 3-0 at the Nissan Stadium.
Bahrain is on nine points, Japan three points, Oman three points and Thailand is yet to record a point.
In Group C, Korea Republic let a golden opportunity slip to clear away from the pack, surrendering a two-goal in their 2-2 draw with Jordan.
Neighbour DPR Korea also blew their chance to go to the top of the group, coming away from Turkmenistan with a 0-0 draw.
The two Koreas are on five points; Jordan on four points, while Turkmenistan is on 1 point.
Group D, saw Uzbekistan continue on its merry way with an emphatic 7-3 win over the hapless Singapore at the National Stadium in Singapore. In a see-sawing first half, Singapore twice came back to have it level at two-apiece, but Uzbekistan finished the half strongly to lead 5-2 at the break.
Saudi Arabia consolidated second spot on the table with a 4-1 win over Lebanon, who are yet to record a point. Singapore sits in third spot.
In the fifth and final group, the UAE caused a mini-upset, by holding Iran to a 0-0 draw in Tehran that keeps them in top spot.
Syria won the second match in the group, 1-0 over Kuwait to move level on points with UAE, but just behind on goal difference.
Group favourites Iran are in third place with three points and Kuwait has one point.
Next weeks Round 4 sees the reverse of all Round 3 fixtures and will go a long way to deciding many teams fate for the 2010 World Cup finals.