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HomeSportSamurai Blue: World Cup Qualification; Japan cruises to a 5-0 victory...

Samurai Blue: World Cup Qualification; Japan cruises to a 5-0 victory over Syria

AP Photo/Thein Zaw/file photo
Japanese fans cheer as they watch the Japan-Myanmar 2026 AFC World Cup Qualifying football match at Thuwunna Stadium on Thursday, June 6, 2024 in Yangon, Myanmar.

JAKARTA (Reuters) – China advanced to the third round of the 2026 World Cup Asian qualifying rounds by the narrowest of margins on Tuesday despite a 1-0 defeat to South Korea in Seoul.

Indonesia, North Korea, Kuwait and Kyrgyzstan also confirmed their progress to the next round, with the Chinese qualifying as second in Group C behind the South Koreans after Thailand could only manage a 3-1 win over Singapore.

Masatada Ishii needed to win by three clear goals, or score at least four with a two-goal margin of victory to rise above the Chinese in the standings, but Masatada Ishii’s side fell agonizingly short of a place in the draw for the next round on June 27.

Suphanat Mueanta put Thailand ahead eight minutes before half-time, but Thailand-based striker Ikhsan Fandi leveled for the Singaporeans 12 minutes after the restart.

A frenetic Thailand pushed forward as time expired, with Poramet Arjvirai and Jaroensak Wonggorn scoring in the final eleven minutes to move their side closer to their goal, but in the end the War Elephants fell short.

The Chinese had previously lost at the Seoul World Cup Stadium when Paris St. Germain winger Lee Kang-in scored from close range in the 61st minute, leaving Branko Ivankovic and his players sweating over the outcome of the match in Bangkok.

Indonesia, meanwhile, confirmed their progress to the third round for the first time with a comfortable 2-0 Group F win over the Philippines at Jakarta’s vibrant Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

Dutch-born midfielder Thom Haye put the home side ahead in the 32nd minute when he curled a perfectly weighted right-foot shot into the top corner of Kevin Mendoza’s goal.

The win was secured via Rizky Ridho’s glancing header in the 56th minute, which gave the unprotected Mendoza little chance as Indonesia confirmed second place behind already qualified Iraq.

Japan recorded a 5-0 win over Syria in Hiroshima, fatally damaging the hopes of Hector Cuper’s side, who were overtaken in Group B by North Korea following Ri Jo Guk’s hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Myanmar in 2011 . Vientiane.

Kuwait finished second in Group A when Eid Al-Rashidi scored in the 81st minute to hand Afghanistan a 1–0 defeat, with the Gulf state taking second place behind Asian champions Qatar, who dashed India’s hopes with a 2– 1 win. in Al Rayyan.

Kyrgyzstan confirmed their progress with a 1-1 draw against Group D winners Oman, who had already sealed their place in the third round when Eldiyar Zarypbekov saw his opener canceled out in the 19th minute by Abdul Aziz Khalfan’s deflected goal.

The draw for the next round will involve 18 countries, including regular World Cup qualifiers Japan, South Korea, Australia, Iran and Saudi Arabia, all of whom had secured their places ahead of Tuesday’s group matches.

Uzbekistan, Jordan, Bahrain and Palestine have also qualified for the third phase, in which teams will compete for six of the continent’s eight guaranteed places in the finals in the United States, Mexico and Canada.



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