World Cup qualifying: Asian powers prevail
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 25, 2016 08:47 AM
South Korea's Kim Kee-hee, center right, heads the ball with Lebanon's Joan Oumari , center, during their soccer match for Asian qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Ansan, South Korea, Thursday, March 24, 2016. South Korea defeated Lebanon 1-0.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp made a successful debut as coach of Jordan with an 8-0 victory over Bangladesh in Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup on Thursday.
Redknapp, whose last management role was at Queens Park Rangers, has signed a short-term contract with Jordan.
Jordan next faces Australia on Tuesday in Sydney in what is scheduled to be his second and final match with the team.
"I've been very impressed at training with the quality of the Jordan players," Redknapp said. "Australia will be a tough game, but we look forward to it."
Australia is two points clear of Jordan at the top of Group B after six wins in seven matches, following its 7-0 win over Tajikistan at Adelaide. A win or draw will clinch first place for Australia in the group.
Midfielder Massimo Luongo scored and captain Mile Jedinak converted a penalty within 13 minutes.
"I was lucky to get two goals, but it could have been three or four," substitute Tommy Rogic said. Nathan Burns also added a pair.
Tajikistan coach Mubin Ergashev said it was pointless to dwell on the result.
"There is no reason to talk too much about this game," he said. "We played a good team so we know where we sit."
Saudi Arabia moved three points clear of the United Arab Emirates in Group A when it beat Malaysia 2-0 at Jeddah, while the UAE kept pace with a 2-0 win over Palestine. The teams meet at Jeddah on Tuesday in the final match of the second round.
Jiang Ning scored three goals to power China past Maldives 4-0 in Group C. China was seven points behind leader Qatar, which drew with Hong Kong 2-2 and has clinched first place in the group.
Iran beat India 4-0 to remain three points ahead in Group D, while second-place Oman edged Guam 1-0.
In Group E, Japan beat Afghanistan 5-0 after leading 1-0 at halftime. Japan was still only one point ahead of Syria, which beat Cambodia 6-0. Japan hosts Syria on Tuesday at Saitama, north of Tokyo.
Thailand clinched first place in Group F following a 2-2 draw with Iraq, while Vietnam beat Taiwan 4-1.
Lee Jeong-hyeop scored in the third minute of stoppage time as South Korea beat Lebanon 1-0 to lead Group G by 11 points from second-place Kuwait.
Uzbekistan beat the Philippines 1-0 at Tashkent to move two points ahead of idle North Korea in Group H. Uzbekistan plays again at home on Tuesday against Bahrain, while North Korea plays the Philippines.
The eight group winners and four best runners-up from the second round qualify for the third Asian round.
The teams will be divided into two six-team groups and take part in home-and-away series from August this year to September 2017, with the top two in each group qualifying for Russia in 2018.
A fifth Asian team — the winner of a match between the third-place teams in the third round — could qualify for Russia via an intercontinental playoff with a CONCACAF team.