Asia's big three all win in World Cup qualifiers

by

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)
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SEOUL (AP):

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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