Asia's big three all win in World Cup qualifiers


November 14, 2015
Myanmar's goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Phyo, centre, punches the ball away from South Korea's Kwak Tae-hwi during their Asian zone Group G qualifying football match for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea, on Thursday. South Korea defeated Myanmar 4-0. (AP Photo)
Colombia's James Rodriguez kicks Chile's Matias Fernandez as he tries to play the ball during a 2018 World Cup qualifying football match in Santiago, Chile, on Thursday. (AP Photo)


Japan, Australia, and South Korea enjoyed comfortable wins in Asia, qualifying for the 2018 World Cup on Thursday. Son Heung-min came off the bench to provide two assists as South Korea beat Myanmar 4-0.

Along with Qatar, South Korea is the only team in the second round of qualifying with a perfect five wins from five games.

"We dominated the game and I am pleased with our performance," said South Korea coach Uli Stielike.

"We expected that Myanmar would be defensive, but we showed what we could do early in the game and made a good start."

European-based Keisuke Honda and Maya Yoshida scored Japan's second and third goals in a 3-0 win in Singapore to put them top of Group E, above Syria.

Australia bounced back from October's loss in Jordan to defeat Kyrgyzstan 3-0 in Canberra, and move within a point of Jordan. Mile Jedinak scored from the spot just before the break, Tim Cahill added a second just after and an Ildar Amirov own goal sealed the win.

Iran moved to the top of Group D with a 3-1 win over Turkmenistan in Tehran while Thailand extended its lead at the top of Group F with a 4-2 victory against Chinese Taipei.

Hong Kong kept its hopes alive with a 1-0 win in the Maldives. China won 12-0 at home to Bhutan.

Yemen won 1-0 at the Philippines, North Korea lost 3-1 in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan defeated Cambodia 3-0 and Tajikistan thrashed Bangladesh 5-0. India ended a run of five defeats in qualification with a 1-0 victory at home to Guam.

In Group A, United Arab Emirates put pressure on Saudi Arabia with an 8-0 win over Timor Leste while Malaysian woes continued after losing 6-0 to the Palestinian team.

Meanwhile, in South America, Chile and Colombia drew 1-1.

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