Qatar upset Iraq and UAE go through
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have grabbed the last two spots in the next phase (fourth stage) of Asian World Cup qualifiers, after the conclusion of last night’s final round of matches in the third stage.
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have grabbed the last two spots in the next phase (fourth stage) of Asian World Cup qualifiers, after the conclusion of last night-s final round of matches in the third stage.
In what was a massive upset, Qatar who had to beat Iraq at the Al Ahli Stadium in Dubai to qualify, did just that with Sayd Ali Bechir heading home the winner with 13 minutes remaining, to knock the reigning Asian champions out of the qualifiers.
The UAE survived a tense match in Al Ain, losing 3-1 to Syria, but went through ahead of the Syrians on goal difference, who needed to win by a three-goal margin to advance. A late penalty scored by Ismail Matar in the 77th minute, proved the crucial blow to the Syrians, who had taken a two-goal lead through Jihad Al Hussain.
The win moved the Syrians level with UAE on eight points, but the latter advanced courtesy of the one-goal to the good superior goal difference.
So Australia is joined by Qatar, UAE, Japan, Bahrain, Korea Republic, DPR Korea, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and I.R. Iran in the next round of qualifiers, with draw on Friday June 27 at 7.00pm AEST.
In other matches played over the weekend, Japan finished ahead of Bahrain in Group 2 with a 1-0 win in Saitama; the two Korea-s played out a 0-0 draw in Seoul; Saudi Arabia smashed Group 4 leaders Uzbekistan 4-0; while Iran won comfortably 2-0 against Kuwait in Group 5.
In qualifiers that had no bearing on the top two placings in each group, Oman won 2-1 at home against Thailand; Jordan won 2-0 against Turkmenistan and Singapore won 2-1 over Lebanon.