The second round of the Asian qualifiers for WC 2026 is now complete, and the results have been announced. In Group C, South Korea emerged victorious with a 3-0 win over China in Shenzhen. Son Heung-min played a pivotal role in this match, scoring twice and assisting on the third goal. He gave the Koreans the lead after Hwang Hee-chan was fouled in the penalty area.
In Group B, Japan defeated Syria 5-0 as guests in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Jong Il Gwan scored a hat-trick for North Korea as they secured their first win of the campaign by beating Myanmar 6-1 in Yangon. Meanwhile, Australia celebrated away to Palestine with a 1-0 Harry Souttar goal in the 18th minute. The match was played on neutral ground in Kuwait and drew high praise from fans and media alike.
Group F saw Iraq emerge victorious over hosts Vietnam with a 1-0 scoreline. Mohanad Ali scored the winning goal from a set piece in stoppage time after an impressive display of passing and ball control throughout the game. The Philippines and Indonesia drew 1-1 earlier that day in Manila, while Hong Kong came back twice to draw 2-2 with Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan and Iran played out a thrilling draw that saw Iranians leading early before being held off by Urunov and Sergejev’s heroics late on.
The Tajiks won convincingly over Pakistan with a 6-1 scoreline in Group G’s match played in Islamabad, led by Croatian coach Petar Šegrt. Branko Ivanković’s Oman lost out to Kyrgyzstan’s home advantage with a narrow defeat of 1-0 at Bishkek stadium.
Overall, this round of qualifiers has seen some incredible performances from both favorites and underdogs alike, with many exciting matches still to come as teams battle for their spot at the World Cup next year.