Japan revives its hopes, Saudi Arabia is full, and Lebanon returns to competition


South Korea striker Son Heung-min (centre) controls the ball during his team's match against Iran in the first group of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on October 12, 2021.

© Atta KinaraSouth Korea striker Son Heung-min (centre) controls the ball during his team’s match against Iran in the first group of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on October 12, 2021.

Japan revived its hopes of reaching the 2022 World Cup finals by beating Australia 2-1 in the second group competition, in which the Saudi team strengthened its lead at the expense of China 3-2, in the fourth round of the Asian qualifiers on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Iran maintained the top spot in Group A by drawing 1-1 with South Korea, at a time when Lebanon returned to the competition strongly by dropping its Syrian counterpart 3-2.

In the first match, Japan took an early lead through O Tanaka in the eighth minute, before Australia equalized through Eden Hrostic (70), but Australia’s Aziz Behich scored a mistake in his own goal to give Japan three valuable points.

The Japanese team finished a record series of 11 consecutive victories in the World Cup qualifiers for its Australian counterpart, which it had started in the previous rounds by winning eight matches in a row.

Australia had succeeded by defeating Oman 3-1 in the previous round, to break the previous record achieved by the teams of Mexico, Spain and Germany, which scored 10 consecutive victories during the qualifying qualifiers for the 2006, 2010 and 2018 finals, respectively.

The samurai team played the match knowing full well that any result other than winning would mean the possibility of being absent from the international wedding for the first time since 1994.

Australia’s balance froze at 9 points in second place, while Japan raised its balance to 6 points in fourth place, behind Oman, third with six points, after its victory over Vietnam 3-1.

The Saudi team topped the group after its difficult victory over its Chinese guest 3-2.

The “Green” triple was scored by Sami Al-Naji (15 and 38), and Firas Al-Braikan (72), while Aloysio dos Santos scored for China (46) and Wu Zi added the second (87).

Al-Akhdar raised its score to 12 points from 4 matches, with the full score, while China remained on its previous score of 3 points in fifth to penultimate place.

– Iran stays ahead –

In Group A, Iran tied its guest South Korea 1-1 at Azadi Stadium in Tehran.

The Korean team advanced through Tottenham star Son Heung-min in the 49th minute, before Iran equalized through Alireza Jahanbakhsh (76).

With this tie, Iran maintained the top spot in the group standings with 10 points from four matches, compared to 8 points for South Korea and two points from three matches for the Emirates, Lebanon and Iraq, and one for Syria.

– Rice team win –

The Lebanese national team entered the competition line strongly for one of the qualifying cards for the first group, after achieving its first victory at the expense of its Syrian host 3-2 at the “King Abdullah II” stadium in Qweismeh in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

He scored for Syria Omar Khribin (20) and Omar Al-Soma (65), and for Lebanon, Muhammad Kadouh (45 + 1 and 45 + 4), and Hassan “Sony” Saad (53).

This is the fifth victory for the “Men of the Cedar” team against its Syrian counterpart, compared to 14 losses and six draws.

The Czech coach of the Lebanese national team, Ivan Hashek, suffered greatly due to the influential absences, especially the defender Qassem Al-Zein and the center player George Melki due to the suspension, as the coach was forced to involve players other than the positions they are accustomed to, such as “Sony” who occupied the left-back position, and Muhammad Haidar as a pivot player, And he relied offensively on Kdouh as a spearhead, and his successor was the trio of Basil Jaradi, “Sony” Saad and Hassan Maatouk.

The elements of the Syrian coach Nizar Mahrous were complete, as he involved the attacking duo Khirbin and Al-Soma and behind them Mahmoud Al-Mawas, as well as the midfielders Muhammad Othman and Ayaz Othman after they were absent from the confrontation with South Korea due to an administrative error.

– Disappointing draw for the Emirates and Iraq –

The UAE team and its Iraqi guest failed to win the fourth match in a row, and they came out with a disappointing but exciting 2-2 draw at Al-Wasl Stadium in Dubai.

Caio Canedo (33) and Ali Mabkhout (90 +3) scored the goals of the Emirates, and Muhammad Al-Attas (74 by an own goal) and Ayman Hussein (89) scored the goals of Iraq.

The technical confrontation between the Dutch coaches Bert van Marwijk (UAE) and Dick Advocaat (Iraq) ended with neither a winner nor a loser, but certainly the third draw for each of them against a loss will intensify criticism of them.

The owner of the land opened the scoring after a wonderful pass from Majed Hassan to Abdullah Hassan and from him to Cayo Canedo, who passed defender Ali Fayez, and then shot in the nets of Fahd Talib (33).

Iraq’s pressure resulted in a tie after a cross from the first touch of the substitute, Ayman Al-Mamari, Emirates defender Al-Attas made a mistake in removing it to head the ball into the net of his colleague Khaseef (74).

This is Iraq’s first goal after three matches in which its strikers were unable to hit the net.

Advocaat’s substitutions succeeded again after the “Rafidain Lions” scored a goal a minute before the end of the original time, thanks to two substitutes, after Alaa Mihawi left the ball to Ayman Hussein with a powerful shot in the goal (89).

The excitement continued after Mabkhout equalized for the Emirates in the third minute of stoppage time in the second half.

bur/g r-amd-d h/p u


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