November 17 – Iran and Saudi Arabia cemented their positions at the top of their Qatar 2022 final qualifying groups with four games left in qualifying.
Iran beat Syria away from home with three unanswered goals to maintain a two point lead over second placed South Korea, but more importantly a 10 point lead over third place UAE.
The top two teams in each group qualify automatically for Qatar 2022 with third placed teams going into the inter-continental play-offs.
Iran will qualify for Qatar if they beat Iraq in their next qualifying game at the end of January.
The UAE with a 1-0 win in Lebanon moved into third place in the group.
A goal from Saleh Al Shehri gave Saudi Arabia a 1-0 win in Vietnam to make it five wins in six games.
The win gave Saudi Arabia a vital four point gap over Japan who moved into second place in the group after a 1-0 win over Oman. It took a goal by Junya Ito struck nine minutes from time to make it six points from this international window and put Japan’s World Cup qualification back on track.
Japan were helped by Australia only managing to draw away to China. Mitch Duke put Australia in front late in the first half, but a desperate Chinese side kept the door ajar on their own Qatar 2022 hopes thanks to Wu Lei’s 70th minute penalty.
Australia dropped to third in their group, a point behind Japan, after only managing to draw away to China.
Even so, they are still four points ahead of Oman and six ahead of China.
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