Unheralded Jordan continue superb form in Asian World Cup qualifying
Iraq second in Group A after beating China 1-0
Australia beat Oman 3-0 to head Group D from Thailand
Japan rout Tajikistan 8-0 to go top of Group C on same points as Uzbekistan
Jordan took a step nearer qualifying for the World Cup finals for the first time with a 3-0 win over Singapore Tuesday to top Asian Group A with a 100 per cent record.
But China are struggling in the same group, losing 1-0 at home to Zico’s Iraq to lanquish in third place with only the first two teams going through to the final round of qualification to decide on places for the 2014 finals in Brazil.
Jordan went into their third match having already dispatched Iraq and China and did not take long to go ahead through Abdallah Deeb’s close-range header.
Second half goals from Anas Bani Yaseen and Ahmad Hayel sealed the three points for the visitors in the Jalan Besar Stadium.
“I think that the Jordan team has become one of the best teams in Asia,” Jordan coach Adnan Hadad told AFP after their emphatic win.
Meanwhile, Iraq owed their victory to a goal from striker Younus Mahmood just before halftime.
Iraq had defender Basem Abbas sent off midway through the second half but China, despite dominating possession, were unable to force an equalizer.
“It was a tough game and it was the second time we faced this problem of playing with 10 men,” former Brazilian star Zico said.
In other Asian qualifying action, Australia beat Oman 3-0 to extend their perfect record after three games in Group D where the surprise result saw unsung Thailand hold Frank Rijkaard’s Saudi Arabia to a 0-0 draw in Bangkok.
It left them in second place in the group, two points ahead of the Saudis, as they bid to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time.
“The Saudi team still have a chance because we will play Thailand on our home soil as Oman lost to Australia,” said former Dutch international and Barcelona coach Rijkaard.
Japan were the biggest scorers on the day, an 8-0 thrashing of Tajikistan taking them ahead of Uzbekistan on goal difference at the top of Group C.
Mike Havenaar and Shinji Okazaki both scored twice for Japan, while Uzbekistan owed their vital 1-0 win in North Korea to a goal by Alexander Geynrikh in the first half.
South Korea edged Group B bottom side UAE 2-1 to lead the standings. Arsenal’s Park Chu-Young opened the scoring before UAE leveled. Ismail Hamdan’s unfortunate own goal handed victory to the Koreans.