China, Saudis through in World Cup qualifying
Updated: 2011-07-29 07:03
BANGKOK, Thailand - China and Saudi Arabia were among the teams to progress in Asia's World Cup qualifying on Thursday, as Singapore ousted neighbor Malaysia and crowd trouble forced the abandonment of Oman's game at Myanmar.
Osama Abdulrzag Hawsawi of Saudi Arabia (center) celebrates with fellow team members after scoring a goal during their 2014 World Cup Asian qualifiers round two soccer match against Hong Kong in Hong Kong, Thursday, July 28, 2011.[Photo/Agencies]
China won 6-1 at Laos to complete a 13-3 aggregate victory, while Saudi Arabia won 5-0 at China's Hong Kong for an 8-0 margin over two legs. Both moved into the third round, a group stage that will include regional heavyweights such as Japan, South Korea and Australia.
Syria also produced an authoritative 4-0 away win over Tajikistan for a 6-1 aggregate; Kuwait won 2-1 at the Philippines for a 5-1 aggregate and Jordan progressed after a 1-1 draw at Nepal and a 10-1 win over two legs.
Singapore produced a creditable 1-1 draw in front of 85,000 mostly hostile fans in Malaysia to take a 6-4 aggregate win in one of the most important matches between the longstanding rivals.
India drew 2-2 at home against the United Arab Emirates but never threatened to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit.
In other results, Bangladesh beat Lebanon 2-0 but lost 4-2 on aggregate; Vietnam had a 2-1 win over Qatar but lost 4-2 on aggregate, and Indonesia had a late fright but clung on for a 4-3 win over Turkmenistan to win 5-4 overall.
In the late matches, Thailand, Iran and Iraq all qualified for the next stage.
Palestine's hopes of reaching the World Cup are over after drawing 2-2 with Thailand to go out 3-2 on aggregate.
Iran beat Maldives 1-0 to go through 5-0 overall, Iraq was held to a 0-0 draw by Yemen but was victorious 2-0 after two legs, and Uzbekistan trounced Central Asian neighbor Kyrgyzstan 3-0 to advance 7-0 on aggregate.
In Myanmar, fans threw stones, shoes, water bottles and other objects onto the pitch and at Oman players and officials, forcing a halt to the match with Oman winning 2-0 on the night and 4-0 on aggregate.
At least one Oman player and one official were struck by objects as dozens of police tried to control the crowd. Myanmar football chief Zaw Zaw appealed for calm to no avail.
The violence came after striker Ismail made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 39th minute, midfielder Amad Al Hosni having put Oman ahead in the 23rd minute.
While there was no immediate announcment of the official result of the game, Oman should progress to the third round, either by the standing score or by forfeit.
The third round, which features five groups of four teams, is scheduled for September 2 to February 29, 2012.
A fourth round of qualifying will decide which four Asian teams are guaranteed a place at the finals in Brazil, while a fifth round will provide Asia's representative in an intercontinental playoff.
In Laos, China midfielders Deng Zhuoxiang and Yu Hanchao scored twice, with Qu Bo and Yang Xu also finding the net for the visitors, while Visay Phapouvanin scored for Laos.
China's comfortable margin of victory over two legs came after Laos had taken a shock 2-0 lead in last weekend's away leg, before being overwhelmed 7-2.
Saudi Arabia carried a comfortable 3-0 lead from the first leg against China's Hong Kong and completed a strong result Thursday thanks to goals from Hassan Fallatah, Mohammed Noor, Nassir Al-Shamrani, Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and Osama Hawsawi.
Saudi Arabia is eager to make up for not qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, its first absence from football's main event since 1990.
Tajikistan's match was up for grabs after Syria recorded a 2-1 home win in the first leg. However, Syria soon put the result beyond doubt Thursday as Raja Rafe scored twice in the first half, Nadim Sabagh made it 3-0 and a late own-goal completed a comfortable victory.
Indonesia had some anxious moments against Turkmenistan. Having secured a 1-1 away draw in the first leg, Indonesia surged ahead 4-1 on Thursday with two goals from Cristian Gonzales and one each to Nasuha and Muhammad Ridwan.
With Turkmenistan reduced to 10 men due to a red card, the contest looked over. But Berdy Shamuradov scored and Gakhrymanberdi Chonkaev converted a penalty to make it interesting. However, the visitors could not find another goal to take the match on the away goals rule.
Malaysia was confident of overturning a 5-3 deficit from the first leg against Singapore, and the hosts cut the deficit through Safee Sali's goal in the 58th minute. Shi Jiayi equalized for Singapore in the 73rd minute and the visitors held firm to secure the draw.
Qatar, seeking to build its World Cup credentials ahead of its hosting role in 2022, carried a 3-0 advantage into the away game at Vietnam and effectively sealed the result when striker Yusef Ahmed Ali scored an away goal in the ninth minute. Vietnam responded through Nguyen Trong Hoang in the 15th and Nguyen Quang Hai's header in the 33rd to gain the consolation of a win on the night.
India had been hopeful of overturning a 3-0 deficit against the UAE, believing that result was not representative because it had two men sent off. It failed to back up that belief on Thursday, as the Gulf side led 2-0 from goals by Mohamed Al Shehhi and Ali Al Wehaibi, before India pulled a goal back through Jeje Lalpekhlua and a stoppage-time equalizer by Gouramanghi Singh.
Jordan was never going to be threatened by Nepal after a 9-0 home win in the first leg. Saeed Morja made it 10-0 on aggregate, but Nepal was able to salvage a draw and some pride thanks to a late goal by 41-year-old Bharat Khawas.
Kuwait started the away leg at the Philippines with a 3-0 aggregate lead. Stephan Schrock put the Philippines ahead on the night to threaten a comeback, but Yousef Al Sulaiman and Waleed Ali Jumah responded to complete a 5-1 aggregate victory.
Bangladesh was at long odds to overturn a 4-0 deficit against Lebanon and fell short despite a 2-0 win on the night following second-half goals from Mithun Chowdhury and Zahid Hasan Emily.
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